Some interesting opinions in this thread, but as usual, a lot of missing of the point. I don't know that Rand Paul is going to get the nomination. He hasn't even won my vote yet as far as that goes - I'm leaning towards Gary Johnson. But the article's point isn't really refutable by all of the emotions in this thread. Rand Paul is the current Republican front runner for the reasons stated - he's got the deepest organization in key battleground states, and a fundraising advantage.
I do think Scott Walker will make a strong play. Everything I've read about Jeb Bush says that he's not really all that interested, despite a lot of pressure for him to run. I think he'd be a strong candidate if he did run. Neither of these guys could currently be considered the front runner. The article is right - Rand Paul is the current front runner.
Ehyeh asher ehyeh.