Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul has done something his father never did - top the list of potential Republican presidential candidates in a national poll.
According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 16% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they would be likely to support the senator from Kentucky for the 2016 nomination.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, garnered 15%, with longtime Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who's considering another bid for the White House, at 11%.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, is the only other Republican tested in the survey to crack double digits.
The poll's sampling error means that statistically it's not a win for Paul, but his finish is a breakthrough for his family.
A national Quinnipiac poll found Paul tied with Ryan in January for the top spot. That appears to be as close as either Rand Paul or his father, Ron Paul, has ever come to nabbing first place all by himself in any national poll.
Among the other potential presidential hopefuls in the new CNN survey, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is at 9%, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each at 8%.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida registered 5% and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who battled eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into the 2012 GOP primary and caucus calendar, polled 3%.
"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," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
While Paul is only 1 point ahead of Ryan, his placement is symbolic.
"Remember the 2011-2012 presidential season, when at least five GOP candidates - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Herman Cain - topped our polls at one time or another?" said Holland. "Notice who was never in first place during that topsy-turvy time: Ron Paul."
The elder Paul, then a congressman from Texas, also never managed to get double-digit support in national polling when he ran for the GOP nomination in 2008. Paul also ran for President in 1988 as a libertarian candidate.
Same story among Democrats
In the potential race for the Democratic nomination, it's the same old story: if Hillary Clinton runs, she would start the race as her party's overwhelming frontrunner.
According to the poll, which was released Sunday, 63% of Democrats and independents who lean toward the party say they'd favor Clinton as the Democratic nominee, with Vice President Joe Biden a distant second at 13%.
The former secretary of state has said that she'll decide by the end of the year whether she makes a second run for the White House, and Biden has said he'll decide about making a third bid for the Democratic nomination either later this year or early next.
Three other possible Democratic presidential candidates, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, all register in the low single digits.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International March 7-9, with 801 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The sample includes 367 Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP and 372 Democrats and independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.
The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points for the Democratic and Republican nomination questions.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
The GOP has a death wish.
The GOP Clown Car is getting ready to ride again.
Fake polls, Rand Paul is probably at 20% in a real poll, & Ryan at 10%.
I want them to run another religious cultist...the debates ain't no fun without a snake handler.
Now if we can just have Dr Condoleezza Rice or Dr Ben Carson sign on as VP to a Ron Paul candidacy and the GOP can win the presidency.
Rand is the Man! Go Rand Go!
Hillary will get my vote and even some of my educated southern women friends said they will vote for her...enough of men who believe they should be president simply because they are male.
Unless the GOP cuts ties to the Tea Party, I am voting Dem.
I don't consider myself to be tied to any political party, but not a single one of the men offered in 2012 or apparently 2016 are men I would vote for.
Jeb Bush is the least offensive among them.
And for everything people point out thats wrong about Hillary... she is STILL a better choice then Paul. Says a lot about the state of the Republican Party's chances.
Rand Paul is NOT getting the minority or inner city vote.
Rand Paul is NOT getting the female vote.
Rand Paul is NOT getting the Democratic vote.
Rand Paul is NOT getting the senior vote.
There won't be enough rich old white dudes or young Right Wing Conservatives or Tea Partiers to get Rand into the WH.
hahah Ron paul has won many national poles. You just chose not to acknowledge those or show em.
Rand, Perry and Ryan – the three stooges of the T-publicants...
You have to keep in mind that this is CNN. They are having trouble just covering their payroll.
Wow. The 2 leaders are in the Tea Party.
The Republican party is literally worse than cancer.
Can someone convince Elizabeth Warren to run?
Another GOP clown car.
The "debates" should be a hoot.
Can we get Bachmann in there for some additional entertainment.
Perry = Religion circumventing our freedoms. Every decisions in office will be based on how Perry interoperates the Bible. For those who do not believe you will be forced to live under decisions made based on Perry's interpretations of this book.
Paul = Tea Party magnet – He will do away with most federal agencies regardless if they protect our drugs, meat, stocks, etc. Gun will be even more common than they already are. His myopic solutions will throw this country back to the 1950's equal rights for women will go out the window as will rights for any one other than white males. Will more than likely do away with National parks, social security medicare and medicaid. Drilling and fracikng will be allowed everywhere destroying wild lands for future generations.
Ryan = Suffers from the same delusional linking religion and politics as Perry. However Ryan will always error on the behalf of the rich. Give the rich as much as they want and hope they pass some of the wealth down to the rest of us.
No matter which one of these you elect. Each one of these men will spend more time taking apart Obama care as apposed to doing something that will actually benefit the United States citizen. All of these men are much more likely to lead America into yet another war because of their view on religion, money.
No matter who you put in office from the GOP / Tea Party the GOP Tea Party will not be happy. The party could not be more divided. This will result in more in fighting and less getting done than our current congress and administration.
They have shut down the government before and they will do it again, no matter who it hurts. No wonder GOP / Tea Party are so pro survival / gun show / hate. They are just preparing their base for what they plan to bring to the table. Be glad you have your survival gear because you will need it. For each one of these men the rapture "second coming" is not coming soon enough so they will do whatever it takes to help it along. The GOP / Tea Party has outlined what they have planned for American and it is not pretty. Well unless you are rich and then you will be ok. But if your old, gay, any color other than white, not religious, down on you luck, handicapped or just the wrong sex things are not looking so good.
Heaven helping us is what most of the candidates are banking on.
Huntsman would be a better choice that either Hillary or Paul. A much better choice.
Rand Paul is unelectable. His father was fantastic, Rand... Not so much. The Republicans better get off the anti gay and anti abortion subjects, or there will never be a Republican in the whitehouse again .
Poll numbers 2.5 years before an election have no meaning whatsoever.
Candidates don't grow on trees, you don't get JFK's and Ronald Reagans but once a century, quit whining about the candidates.
Well just like Obama.... Hillary will MOVE CLOSE to the CENTER... then ... stick the knife in the USA after the election just like Obama..... The TRUE COLORS of the Clintons and Obama is to bring the USA to a 3rd world country where the GOVT CONTROLS everything.....
WAKE UP PEOPLE... we are 1/2 way there... as you can read daily in the few news outlets that REPORT real news.. It is worst than you can imagine. Someone just wrote below she would vote for Hillary because she is in the CENTER... REALLY????... and who in the world do you think started the Govt Health Care in the first place. It was Hillary... do a little RESEARCH into Hillary's college VIEW of the world.
We are in TROUBLE if the USA can only RE-ELECT people from TWO FAMILIES... we may as well be England with a King and Queen. It is AMAZING that in the WHOLE US there is no one else but Hillary for the Democrats... THEY HAVE LOST MY VOTE!
The liberals are pushing Paul knowing very well they will crush him come the general elections. Its called promoting the weakest a libertalian.
Rand Paul revolution! Stop the Hitlery machine!