They made headlines after they went head-to-head during the first GOP debate last week, but Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are the most unpopular candidates with Iowa Republican voters, a new poll has found.
According to a Public Policy Polling survey
conducted Aug. 7-9 of 1,186 voters in Iowa, 45 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Paul while 44 percent say they do not like Christie.
At the same time, Christie can take heart that the current poll shows an improvement from April when he stood at negative 50 percent favorability.
Donald Trump is not far behind with a 40 percent unfavorability rating, despite the huge lead
he maintains in the polls.
Christie and Paul argued over the powers of the National Security Agency last week, with Christie insisting the bulk data collection program was necessary to fight terrorists.
"I don't trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead," Paul said.
Christie blasted Paul saying, "Senator, you know, when you're sitting in a subcommittee, just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that."
The poll also found that former pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the most popular of all Republicans, with 69 percent of the GOP saying they have a favorable view of him.
The favorability ratings are not the only story.
In the current poll, Donald Trump maintains his lead at 19 percent. The rest of the candidates trail Trump:
- Carson and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are at 12 percent
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is at 11 percent
- Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is at 10 percent
- Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is at 9 percent
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tied at 6 percent
- All other nine candidates are at 3 percent or lower, including Paul who fell from 10 percent in April.
"Donald Trump's public fight with Fox News might hurt him in the long run," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. "But for the time being he continues to lead the pack."
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