March 16th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
9 years 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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. longtooth

    It's hard to believe the Republicans are still this lost after the last election. The reason Obama is in the White House has nothing to do with "Chicago politics", a socialist take-over, a Soros conspiracy, or any of the other bogeymen they desperately invent. Obama won because the Republican candidates were either laughably inept or ideologically bizarre, and the lesson has not been learned. Rand Paul? Seriously?

    March 16, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. jimmy

    which of the GOP candidates do you think would be best for presidency, and why?

    March 16, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. TNPatriot


    this is the worst republican party; in the history of this country. they should sit this one out.
    The Republican party of my early days started heading for the exit when they nominated Ronald Reagan. As they slowly filed out the door over the next 16 years, they headed for the parking lot. With the turn of the Century, the big bus arrived and the party started down the road of hatred for our country, picking up the religious extremist who added even more hatred. In 2009 they stopped by the sanitarium to pick up the fractured defectors of the Libertarian. The party at that point proceeded to no longer represent any of the Republican principles and headed straight over the cliff.

    March 16, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. 1776usa2016

    The GOP clown car rides again.


    March 16, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. jc

    are122, you've been brainwashed to think this is the issue why democrats win. The bases always vote for their candidate, or I should say, most of the time. Independents, on the other hand, vote for the person whom they think is best for the country. That is why you have back and forward between the two parties. Independents are HARDLY the type of people you speak of. Most of us were accused of being on government help (example, the 47% speech), and that is what turns so many people off and away from conservative candidates. Assuming that people who don't like them are lazy, or don't want to take responsibility for their lives, will CONTINUE to put people off, because it can't be farthest from the truth. Most of us simply don't like what the modern GOP has to offer these days, we think it has gone off the deep end, sort of speak. Now, if you want to help Democrats, just go ahead and keep accusing them of lazy, and the Independents that vote for them as well. It's been working real well for us.

    March 16, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Frink

    Lucky for the US that Rand is only electable in insignificant places like Kentucky.

    March 16, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. liberal disease

    Republicans lose because they promise to put people back to work and the welfare class is enjoying themselves too much under democratic rule...

    March 16, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Anonymous

    "Obama won because the Republican candidates were either laughably inept or ideologically bizarre, and the lesson has not been learned. Rand Paul? Seriously?"

    I couldn't agree with you more. They've offered up their lame brained excuses but have yet to understand let alone accept the full responsibility of their own actions; in doing so they've destabilized America's economy and destroyed themselves from within. And lest we forget: it's all Obama's fault.

    March 16, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. caseyhd

    Republicans are so screwed if this is truly their list to run for POTUS. What ever happened to the Republican Party that used to actually have some good ideas?

    March 16, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Government Waste Rules

    Hooray for all of our wonderful and hope change!!

    March 16, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Larry L

    The list of Republicans is absolutely scary. Ron Paul is just another political weasel – the dishonest kind he rants against. He lacks his Dad's convictions but inherited the bigotry and lack of any sense of pragmatism. "Lyin' Ryan" is a Wall Street lackey out to trash Social Security and give Medicare to his rich buddies. That leaves "The Newt", Governor "Oops" Perry, yet another "Bush" loser, Senator "Green Eggs", and the little "Anchor Baby" who pretends to be Hispanic. Governor Christie, the only one who a shot at winning placed that shot in his own foot – trying to get revenge with that idiotic bridge closing. The Clown Car is once again full of crazies... What the heck – throw in Bachman and Palin for the ride!

    March 16, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Tom Shafer

    Have to agree with longtooth. The Republicans need to run someone people will actually vote for, not 3 Plane McCain or Swift Boat Kerry.

    Isn't there somebody out there who could convince the majority of the electorate he/she could actually govern the country?

    As for Hillary, she would be just a couple of months shy of Regan's age if (God forbid) she took office. Maybe she could have some congressional breakfasts with bran flakes and prunes?


    March 16, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Alicia

    No Liberal Disease, republicans lose because they promise to put people back to work then get into congress and play politics and block job bills that WOULD put people back to work. They say what they need to say then play silly games and block progress once reaching congress. Americans are waking up.

    March 16, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. P. Hickey

    Forget 2016 for now. Even if a conservative is elected their hands will be tied without support from the Senate. Concentrate on 2014 mid terms for now. Oh, and I wouldn't write off Rand Paul just yet. Remember that millions of evangelical christians sat out the last election because Romney was a Morman, they will be out in force if the candidate is Rand Paul

    March 16, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "Plagiarizer" Rand Paul or "Let the Little Children Go Hungary" Paul Ryan?

    Either works for me.

    March 16, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. redware

    You left wing extremists are a laugh a minute.Obama has been President for over 5 years now.The economy-his economy- is still floundering,with the combined unemployment rate and labor participation rate exceedingly high,Obamacare is destroying the middle class as well as the health care industry,and tyrants around the world do what they will because they know the American Commander-in-Chief is a pusillanimous fool.And you have the hubris to sneer at Republican candidates?

    March 16, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Jochi Sotolongo

    All Latinos I know are ready to vote for this guy!

    March 16, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. bob

    That is because to Isreal fans he says "any attack on Isreal is an attack on the US". To libertarian leaning people he says he is against getting into conflicts that are not ours. To free market fans he says he is against handouts and for free markets, but last year led a successful fight to extend subsidies to tobbacco producers and handouts to landowners to not grow tobbacco because many large contributors in his state have their hands in that federal pot. He says he is for freedom and no government interference, but to pander to some, has made social issues political fodder at times.... he is whatever the source of money happens to be at the time.n

    March 16, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    "Oh, and I wouldn't write off Rand Paul just yet. Remember that millions of evangelical christians sat out the last election because Romney was a Morman, they will be out in force if the candidate is Rand Paul"


    March 16, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    "As for Hillary, she would be just a couple of months shy of Regan's age if (God forbid) she took office."

    Rand Paul is going to have to come up with something better than "she's too old".

    An experienced in how government works age wise woman against a government hating pipe dreamer? We've done the pipe dream with Obama and have spent the past 6 years listening to the Republicans telling us how wrong we were to elect an inexperienced dreamer. These same people are now going to lecture us once again taking the opposite side?

    March 16, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Avengers

    Unfortunately, Hilliary Clinton may be a shoe in for president. She voted for the Iraq war and compared Putin to Hitler (something that always precedes American wars), so expect more conflict and war in the future; she's basically a female Dick Cheney. Rand Paul is the only sensible, and competent, candidate, but I don't expect the media-military complex will let him anywhere near the white house.

    March 16, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. disanitnodicos

    Is there any actual evidence to support the theory that the races are equal?

    March 16, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Pops Ghostly

    Remember...this man knows what it is like to be harassed by the TSA.

    March 16, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. yerkiddinright

    Please run Rand Paul. We need the laughs.

    March 16, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. dinkydow

    Democrats are damaged goods. Thank you Obama, thank you Obamacareless........Bozo the clown beats Democrats.

    March 16, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10