March 16th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
7 months ago

CNN Poll: Rand Paul goes where his father never went

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


Filed under: 2016 • Andrew Cuomo • CNN/ORC poll • Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden • Marco Rubio • Martin O'Malley • Mike Huckabee • Paul Ryan • Rand Paul • Rick Perry • Rick Santorum • Ted Cruz
soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. MikeinNM

    When Obama won reelection in 2012, I posted: "Obama 2024." Obama winning in 2012 set up the prospect for H. Clinton 2016-2024, which sets up the prospect in 2024 for...Michelle Obama. Can you imagine if Hilary runs with Michelle?

    March 16, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Why don't we just save bundles of money and let the pollsters decide who is going to be the next POTUS?

    March 16, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. oharris30

    so let's see, the repubs have no one. 16 %? gee that's pretty low. this is the worst republican party; n the history of this country. they should sit this one out.

    March 16, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. are122

    I don't know. There are so many people living off the government one more clueless person that has never been successful at anything like Obama/ Hillary might be tough to beat.

    March 16, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Anonymous

    @Celebrity Dictator

    "He's no doubt a dangerous candidate for Clinton to contend with."

    See @Dave comment below:

    "Rand Paul vs Hillary Clinton

    Sorry, Republicans. You're screwed."
    ----

    America has had enough of first term senate "dreamers". Rand Paul is nothing more than a wanabee dreamer riding his daddy's coattails.

    March 16, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Hugh

    Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, CANADA! Where are the Birther's now? Or is it only okay if you're a Republican candidate?

    March 16, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. david

    Obamacare alone has probably ruined the Socialist democrat party for the next 10 years.
    Even San Diego elected a Republican mayor with only 26% of the voters being Republican.

    March 16, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Indrid Cold

    Ron Paul (a has-been) congratulates his son Rand on achieving the position of "never-will-be."

    March 16, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Dave

    There is not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans to even call them "two parties"...and about the least important thing for upcoming elections is which will be in charge of "business as usual"..and which side will be moaning in news comments for the next 8 years.

    US policy is not affected by elections.

    March 16, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Constitution

    Don't forget about Benghazi...for those who want Clinton for President....just a thought...

    March 16, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Hill

    Ted Cruz and slime. The man appears to be made of embalming fluid.

    March 16, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. J anthony

    Thank u commenter dave, it is refreshing that there are others capable of seeing the big picture and thinking beyond the surface of things

    March 16, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. jimatmad

    Paul Ryan???? He lost his home state Wisconsin by 7% as the 2012 vice presidential candidate. Heck, he lost his home town of Janesville by 10% in his Congressional race and only managed to hang on to his seat by clever gerrymandering by the state GOP.
    Of course Rand Paul has the same odds of being president that his dad did. If the top 15-20 other candidates on both sides suddenly died, he might stand a chance.

    March 16, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Rich

    Long as we don't have to live with another "first" in my lifetime.

    March 16, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. jimatmad

    I'm sure Hillary Clinton still has the measurements for the White House drapes from the last time she lived there.

    I wonder if she has picked out an Inaugural gown yet.

    March 16, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Shame, look at the GOP contenders percentage, 16, 15, 11. That means USA hates Republicans more–I don't blame a bit.

    March 16, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. BeverlyNC

    A poll among Republican candidates of which none are viable or capable of being President means nothing. I cannot think of a single Republican I would trust with our nation. I don't even trust them being in our House or Senate. If all you can do is obstruct, spread hate, fear, and not provide one sane solution for any issue facing our nation – you are not a leader. Romney had nothing to run on and these have less.
    Hillary has tremendous executive experience both foreign and domestic. She stands for real principles. She believes in solutions for education, infrastructure, the rights of women, moving the poor into the middle class, offering the equality of healthcare for everyone, having the moral authority to stand up as our nation's leader and be taken seriously by our Allies and our rogue nations. She is the best leader we have by far.
    Republicans have wasted so much time on obstruction, hate, trying to destroy our President (which I equate with treason) they have accomplished nothing in 6 years. No legislation on anything. Refusal to hold votes on critical issues. Not one idea. They cannot even do their job and pass a mathematically sound budget. The main job of Congress is to pass a budget and make decisions on spending. Republicans have done neither but try to blame President Obama for failing at their main job. President Obama does not control spending – the Republican majority in the House does.
    Republicans have no leader – they barely have a Party.

    March 16, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. ErnieS

    Hillary '14. It's a lock.

    March 16, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. john

    are122
    "I don't know. There are so many people living off the government one more clueless person that has never been successful at anything like Obama/ Hillary might be tough to beat."

    The above perhaps the most foolish statement that has ever been made.............

    March 16, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. ELMO

    Are two junior Senators who are extremist the only thing the GOP has to offer? There goes another election. Lets bust out the welcome gear for Hillary. Maybe 2020 might have an opening GOP.

    March 16, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. truckinmack

    Dear America, if you won't vote for a far Left Liberal Democrat, please vote for a far Left Republican. Thank you. – CNN and the rest of the Liberal media.

    March 16, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. DarqueSide

    I'm still waiting for Newt, Sarah, and the Donald to throw their hats in the ring.

    March 16, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. BUD

    Christie the only one with a chance to win probably won't be nominated.

    March 16, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. All Seing Eye

    Rand "plagiarism" Paul or Paul "Charles Murray" Ryan or Rick "one, two, Duhhh" Perry. Nice try, but not interested, thank you.

    March 16, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Paul

    The Republican Party of "no" will not win the White House. People are growing tired of the "do nothing" party that have basically wasted taxpayer money. Instead of telling us what they will do, they spend their time on negativity and what they won't do.

    March 16, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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