Among voters in Iowa—a key primary state—U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is the strongest Republican in the field of prospective 2016 presidential candidates, says a new poll by Quinnipiac University.
Kentucky's junior senator leads current Vice President Joe Biden by five points among Iowa voters— and he trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic frontrunner, by only four points.
Those totals are better than Sen. Marco Rubio, the Floridian who is also a leading Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election.
In the Quinnipiac poll, Rubio barely edges Biden and trails Clinton by nine points.
The polling numbers come on heels of his keynote speech to Iowa Republicans weeks ago. But a major reason for Paul's strong standing in Iowa is his perception among Iowa's independent voters.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is scheduled to headline the Iowa Republican party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in May. While members of Congress often take part in speaking engagements in other states, Sen. Paul’s appearance in Iowa is making news because the event always creates buzz about the upcoming presidential race.
The Hawkeye State has been a traditional launching pad for presidential candidates from both parties, given that the Iowa caucuses serve as the country’s first major electoral event in the presidential nominating process.
Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, has admitted he is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and attracted a lot of popular press in conservative circles when he launched a 13-hour filibuster earlier this month against the nomination of John Brennan to be C.I.A. chief.
Earlier this week, Paul told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that the country needs to find a way to give legal status to undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. While stopping short of saying there should be a pathway to citizenship for such workers, Paul’s latest statements were much more moderate than his previous positions on immigration.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he'll wait until next year to decide whether to run for President, but he says he believes voters are ready for a Libertarian Republican candidate. And, even though he's up for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016, the same year as the Presidential election, he says there's "probably a way that could be done, but we haven't finalized any plans."
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Paul said, "I would absolutely not run unless it were to win."