U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is leading the field of prospective 2016 Republican candidates for president in two key primary states, a new poll says.
The latest Public Policy Polling results state that Paul has support from 18 percent of Iowans—four percentage points over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in third with 11 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was fourth with 1o percent.
In February, Rubio led the Republican field in PPP’s Iowa poll then.
Paul led the field in the last PPP poll of New Hampshire. He came in with 28 percent, ahead of Rubio’s 25 percent and Christie’s 14 percent. Paul also led in a poll conducted for the Washington Free Beacon and issued last month.
The PPP’s latest poll was conducted July 5-7—before controversy erupted over the revelation that Paul aide Jack Hunter had once belonged to a group that called for Southern secession and had been a radio shock jock called the “Southern Avenger.”
In the Iowa poll, Paul had the second highest favorability rating among registered Republican of possible GOP presidential candidates. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan—the 2012 vice presidential nominee—had the highest.
Among possible Democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a wide lead in Iowa—71 percent to Vice President Joe Biden’s 12 percent. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts, was a distant third at 5 percent, the PPP poll said.
But Biden had a wide lead when Clinton was left out—51 percent to Warren’s 16 percent.
PPP also matched up prospective nominees among Iowa voters. Clinton wins a hypothetical match-up in Iowa against Paul 48 percent to 37 percent. Ryan fared best against Clinton, who leads all potential Republicans, in those hypothetical match-ups, trailing 40-49.
Here’s more from PPP on the methodology:
PPP surveyed 668 registered voters, including 260 Democratic primary voters and 250 Republican primary voters, between July 5-7, 2013. The margin of error for the overall survey was +/- 3.8%, for the Democrats it was +/-6.1%, and for the Republicans it was +/-6.2%. This poll was not authorized or paid for by any campaign or political organization. PPP’s surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.