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 says the Republican Party needs to “look like America.” Paul told the New Hampshire Republican State Committee Liberty Dinner Monday that the GOP needs to become more diverse in order to prosper.
“We need to be white, we need to be brown, we need to be black, we need to be with tattoos, without tattoos, with pony tails, without pony tails, with beard, without," said the Bowling Green Republican.
The Courier-Journal noted Paul’s appearance in New Hampshire also stokes further speculation that he is planting the seeds for a 2016 presidential run.
New Hampshire is the first state to hold a presidential primary every four years. Paul visited Iowa, home of the nation’s first caucuses, earlier this month, and appeared the early primary state of South Carolina in January.