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.

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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. TomGI

    I believe none of these 10 or so republicans can win a national election.

    March 16, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Hillary's paid PAC posing as indivuduals

    9 out of 10 people posting above who support Hillary were PAID to say so, or are operatives of a Democratic PAC.

    Doubt me? Look up some of the userID names - and then cross-reference them with the NetworkID#.

    Hillary's campaign has already been bought and paid for by those posting as "individuals", most of whom are here only to sling mud and spread false information.

    Low-information voters have already been duped.

    March 16, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Ralf

    This is great news! I am not American, but if I would be I would elect him. Although, I am frustrated with elections in general and I did not elect for the past 30 years. But for Rand I would. His father knows where the root of the problem is an he will have a positive influence on him. And Rand is young and strong enough to pull the US out of the mud again, and by this the entire World. And he can bring the NSA back to what it should be. And show Russia its limits, and Iran, and Hizballah. The Bush family messed the world up with their hyperreligious aggressive approach and Obama turned out as no HOPE for CHANGE. Hopefully Rand will make it as President!

    March 16, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. dr3yec

    Remember liberals you are a minority that needs the independents and independents like Paul. Nobody wants a President that will die in office because she is to old. We need new young blood like Paul.

    March 16, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    These candidates once again prove the Republicans just don't get it.

    March 16, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Tod

    I can't believe anyone would think Hillary Clinton should be relevant in politics. You guys are as blind as right wingers who crave another Bush clan member to run for National office. Lol....

    March 16, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. DNC = DEATH

    Paul all the way, he will destroy Hillary "BENGAZI" Clinton, but after all.. what difference does it make LOLOL

    March 16, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Andrew: "If that's the best they got.. we're screwed. 8 years of Hillary. Can't be any worse that Obama I suppose."

    Something for your to consider: At the end of GW's presidency, the global economy was tanking and our economy was shedding more than 500,000 jobs a month; we were mired in 2 foreign wars which cost us 1000s of American lives and trillions of dollars; and bin Laden was alive and well in Pakistan.

    The policies that produced these results are what gop/tea bags continue to promote, in particular, trickle-down economics.

    As long as this is the case, no gop/tea bag will EVER win a national election.

    March 16, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. AntiCoo

    Hillary is going to be doomed anyway, might as well get a real conservative in there. No one wants to live under 8 years of the Bossy Clinton, the last 8 years of her husband were miserable.

    March 16, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Marc Parella

    GOP listen well: Jon Huntsman. He would have beaten Obama by 10% and may be the only GOP candidate to beat Hillary. An added extra is that he is a real conservative in the Goldwater/Taft tradition.

    March 16, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. yeahright


    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?


    Exactly, They point the finger at eveyone and everything. rather than looking in the mirror. It's not that there is anything wrong with their message, they just need to repackage that same tired old turd in a new shiny package. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

    March 16, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Meeka

    Anyone but Hillary 2016. Thats 99% of America's motto.

    March 16, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. victor

    hillary all the way shes all this country has got left to put it back up where it needs to be perhaps the way it was when her husband was president havent seen this country that good of shape since then good luck hillary you got my vote

    March 16, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Mike Cand

    November 2014 avalanche is coming and democrats know it. When it comes, and it will, it will force them to become more extreme, so be ready. They will amp up the lies and fear mongering. They will try to give away our tax dollars at a record pace, they will try to kill us off. Be ready to STOMP them and fight back.

    March 16, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Clinton = nafta

    March 16, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. PoppaMT

    I wish the GOP could become what they often project themselves as, the party that protects the rights of the citizen and removes the waste in government. The problem is they mostly try to remove funding without any plan for how to improve the function. Almost everyone agrees that our government is wasteful, mostly caused by overlap and lack of oversight. This is what needs the attention of congress and the President. Since it requires work on their part and is not an overnight fix I really don't see it happening, too sad!

    March 16, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Elliott Carlin

    dina says:

    "Kentucky is one of the most poor, uneducated, backward states in the nation. When Paul has proven to improve the lives of the people in his state, then he can try and lead an entire country."

    Hey sweetie, they said the same thing about Monica's boyfriend and Arkansas. Now don't you believe a word of it. LOL

    March 16, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Carol

    Never heard Rand Paul say he would end SS, or any other of the other things that democrats say about him.

    March 16, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Jack Be Humble

    I think Rand Paul's position on abortion will alienate too many moderates. Perhaps he will move to the center.

    March 16, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Jimbo

    Dina-same could be said for Arkansas when Slick Willy got elected.

    March 16, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. may40

    GOP = Greed Over People- LOL. Your comment is so laughable. Rand Paul an MD against Hillary would be a complete joke. He would make her look so incompetent. Btw, your Dem party are the biggest crooks in office while the Dem voters are government takers. We conservatives believe in working hard and taking care of our own needs!!!! Stay out of our way and we'll stay out of yours.

    March 16, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. David

    Hillary, like Obama, is the only candidate we can depend on to expand Bush's policies.
    We need more NSA, War on Drugs, gun control, wars, illegal immigration and debt to have a strong country.

    March 16, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. s

    I'm all for anything that would get Bill Clinton walking around the White House again. I'd probably vote Michelle Bachman in if she could get Bill walk around the White House again.

    March 16, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Robert N. constant

    No one seems to be mentioning the 800 pound gorilla in the room, Chris Christie. Could it be that Republicans are unhappy that Christie lobbied successfully so that Bernie Madoff could pull his ponzie scheme on unsuspecting investors? Are Republicans unhappy that it has come out that Christie was holding back on Super Storm Sandy funds to mayors who did not support projects by Christie's big time developer buddies? Perhaps some of these Republicans were caught in Bridgegate where traffic was deliberately jammed to get revenge on a mayor who did not support Christie? Then again, perhaps some of them had their pensions attacked by Christie's underfunding New Jersey Public employees pensions and unilaterally breaking the agreed upon contractual cost of living clause in their contracts. It is still in the courts.
    Probably some Republicans were outraged by the big guy's convention speech which barely mentioned the nominee, Romney.
    In any event, the big guy is probably lonely. Somebody should throw a bunch of bananas into his cage– out of sympathy.

    March 16, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Nancy

    When are people going to figure out that it is not whether someone is a Republican or a Democrat. It is whether they are the crony-capitalist establishment or whether they are for the individual and freedom. When you get right down to it, there is very little difference between Obama, the Bushs and the Clintons. All have used government to line their own pockets. They don't give a rat's behind about any of us. For God's sake, look at Obama's cabinet. It's filled with Goldman Sachs. All these people are bought and paid for.

    Rand Paul is not for sale. He is one of the few, maybe only, potential candidate that isn't. Choose wisely, folks. Our country is on the ropes.

    March 16, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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