Lyndon Johnson carried 44 states, while Barry Goldwater carried six in the deep south and in his home state of Arizona. Johnson got 61.1% to Goldwater's 38.5%.
If the Republican Party wants a repeat of those sort of electoral scores, they should go ahead and run Rand Paul and other Tea Party candidates. It will be the same result, and it will be even easier for Democrats to stick the knife in when there is a black man at the head of the party. Not to mention groups like Stormfront being loud supporters of Rand Paul (and Glenn Beck). If they want to win, they'd be wise to go back to the sort of pluralism, moderation and optimism that wins national elections.
Also, you'd better believe you'll be hearing this sort of stuff again and again as well if a Paulite is to run in 2012:
Rand Paul is a year younger than I am, born like me in Texas during the final years of segregation. I have difficulty believing that any white Southerner my age who questions the civil rights laws that broke down the all-encompassing system of "private" economic and social segregation in our native region does so purely out of libertarian principle. I would have trouble believing that, even if not for recent revelations that his father’s supposedly libertarian newsletter for decades was filled with unsigned racist rants.