(CNN) – Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio–both elected in 2010–have been at the center of much hype in the political arena this year as they've taken on high-profile roles and are considered potential 2016 presidential candidates.
Rubio and Paul delivered the GOP and tea party responses, respectively, to the State of the Union in February and gave speeches at last month's major gathering for conservatives known as CPAC.
Follow @politicalticker Follow @KilloughCNN
And a new poll released Friday indicates that Paul has a slightly higher favorability rating among Republicans and independents, as well as higher name recognition, than Rubio.
According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, Paul, who was elected with strong tea party support in Kentucky, comes in at 53% among Republicans, and 32% among independents.
Rubio's favorable rating among Republicans, meanwhile, is 48%. Among independents, the Florida senator is at 27%.
The numbers fall mostly in line with a CNN/ORC International poll conducted last month, when 53% of Republicans had a positive opinion of Paul, though slightly more–54%–felt the same about Rubio at the time.
And while Rubio was a top surrogate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney and a contender to be his running mate, Paul still has higher ratings among Romney voters than Rubio, 62%-56%, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.
Twenty-eight percent of American adults said they didn't know Paul, compared to 38% who didn't know Rubio.
Paul elevated his profile last month when he delivered a nearly-13 hour talking filibuster on the Senate floor over the president's drone policy. Rubio also showed up to the filibuster, but Paul walked away with strong publicity and a story that landed him in the headlines for three days.
Rubio, meanwhile, had his big moment when he delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address. He's also been at the forefront of GOP efforts for immigration reform.
While the two senators remain competitive, NBC News/Wall Street Journal have measured favorability ratings for other potential 2016 candidates in recent months. In December, the poll showed the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan had the highest ratings among Republicans at 62%, thanks in large part to his high profile role as Romney's running mate.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was viewed favorably by 39% of Republicans in February.
On the Democratic side, 88% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the new poll. The same survey conducted in January showed 70% feel the same about Vice President Joe Biden.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, 1000 adults were interviewed by phone between April 5 and April 8. The sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Two complete idiots. Though they would be the dream team......
Who cares? They're both losers...
well, let me put it this way – IF I had a choice in Voting for either Rubio, or the "Rand" LOL – I guess if somebody put a gun to my head – it would be "the Rand" ( Hopefully my Vote would turn out "Grand" )
Anyone surprised? Paul would like to erase a century of social progress, just like the gop. I sure wish those folks would just move to somalia and leave the US alone. That way they could live out their libertarian, survival of the fittest, no restriction life in a libertarian nirvana. Paul, with his intellectual maturity of a spoiled 14 year old is also in line with todays gop. Sorry folks, the nation and the world are complicated...libertarianism is just unrealistic in civilized societies.
When you've scraped the bottom of the barrel, how much worse can it get?
The # 1 priority should be in 2014 – vote the GOP out in congress, period.
#2 priority – IF we don't get the only one who is experienced enough to get this country to a "surplus" like her husband done, when he was in office, we're done.
What? No Sarah Palin?
Both are bat crap crazy and have no chance winning. Either can run. It will be fun to watch. The only edge Rubio has is he doesn't sound crazy all the time (only half).
The Real Tom Paine
And the GOP perpetuates the practice. Its all the Dixiecrats who bailed on us and were welcomed with open arms into the GOP that keep those minority districts going. I guess the GOP knows it really can't win a head-to-head fight on anything.
you saying the house districts in democrat controlled states like california, new york, massachusetts, illinois,... aren't gerry mandered to this day??? of course they are!! please, enough with the lies and deceit.
TX, GA, LA, NC, FL...the list of red states goes on and on. As far as NY is concerned, there was a compromise between each party losing a seat: it actually resulted in a pickup for the GOP. Learn a few facts before spewing opinions. The TX redistricting plan ended up in federal court, it was so blatant.
Rand Paul by a mile.