There have been a number of polls run recently targeting voters in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. In one poll – nationwide in scope – Sen. Rand Paul was the winner. The Zogby Analytics poll of likely Republican primary voters in 2016 shows Sen. Paul starting to build a lead over better known – and more “establishment” – GOP figures. The poll of likely and eligible voters in GOP presidential primaries was conducted in late June.
In the poll, the junior Senator from Kentucky polls 20 percent, followed by “establishment” candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 13 percent each. In fourth place was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 8 percent, then Florida Senator Marco Rubio 7 percent, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl 4 percent, and New Mexico Governor Suzanna Martinez, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley all with 1 percent each.
This is the first time a GOP candidate has reached 20 percent in a crowded field and the first time a Zogby poll has shown someone emerging a bit from the pack. That could prove to be very significant. Obviously, it is too early to predict outcomes or draw lasting conclusions, but Sen. Paul appears to do well among all sub-groups.
On the Democratic side, the Zogby poll of likely Democratic primary voters shows Hillary Clinton dominating the pack with 52 percent support. Her closest challengers are Vice President Joe Biden with 8 percent and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren with 7 percent. Others posting numbers are Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer with 4 percent, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb with 3 percent.
It will be most interesting to see what happens in the coming months. While I am pretty sure that the Democratic nominee will be named “Clinton,” I am not so sure about who the GOP nominee will be. I once thought it would be Gov. Christie, but now it appears that either Sen. Paul or Gov. Bush will likely be the nominee. But remember, we are in mid-year of 2014 and the election is not until 2016. Things can change overnight in politics. If you doubt that, check with the Christie campaign.
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