Rand Paul Is Leading GOP Presidential Candidate, Says CNN Poll

Image: Rand Paul Is Leading GOP Presidential Candidate, Says CNN Poll

Monday, 17 Mar 2014 09:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Kentucky's Rand Paul tops a recent CNN/ORC national poll seeking the GOP presidential frontrunners among Republicans and right-leaning independents.

In the poll, which was conducted via phone between March 7 and 9 and consisted of some 801 adults nationwide, Paul led with 16 percent among Republicans and right-leaning independents, while Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan garnered 15 percent. Outgoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in third with 11 percent support for a White House bid, CNN reported.

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Though the election is more than two and a half years away at this point, Paul's rise in the polls is a milestone, considering his father, a former GOP presidential nominee, never achieved such a feat as a Republican nominee in his many years pursuing presidency.

In January, a Quinnipiac poll reportedly had a similar finding, with Paul and Ryan tied for the top slot.

The recent CNN/ORC poll also found that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Fox News host who ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 presidential election, had 10 percent support among Republicans and self-identified right-leaning voters. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush received 9 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were both tied for 8 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who a rumored frontrunner in the run-up to the primary, received 5 percent in the poll.

"With a crowded field and no clear frontrunner among the potential candidates, we should expect to see constant fluctuation in the amount of support most candidates get and the order of finish, so it would be easy to read too much into these numbers," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said in reference to the joint poll.

Whereas the Republican field remains open, divided between a half dozen potential candidates, the same poll finds that an overwhelming amount of Democrats and left-leaning independents favor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with 63 percent saying they'd support her in a presidential bid.

Among Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden comes in at a distant second with 13 percent support, while other potential presidential hopefuls such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer all fell in the low single digits, CNN reported.

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