Rand Paul is running for president but not at top of polls

The Wisconsin Gazette

Rand Paul, the Republican U.S. Senator from Kentucky, announced his candidacy for president on April 7. But the senator is not at the top of the polls in his party.

And he also trails in a hypothetical race against leading Democrat but not-yet-candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, as do all the other Republicans preparing for a run.

The poll was released by Public Policy Polling early today. It shows Clinton leading any potential Republican candidate by three-nine points. That’s down from seven-10 points in February.

She remains by far the strongest potential candidate among Democrats.

Clinton leads Scott Walker, who currently leads in our national GOP polling, 46 to 42. By comparison Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren both trail Walker in hypothetical match-ups.

In addition to Walker, two other GOP hopefuls come within four points of Clinton. Marco Rubio trails her 46 to 43 and Rand Pau’s deficit is 46/42.

Paul’s numbers in the poll, taken before his announcement, are interesting. He does better than anyone else on his side with independents, leading Clinton by 14 points at 47 to 33. But the 77 percent of the Republican vote he gets against Clinton is the lowest of any candidate other than Chris Christie, suggesting that some GOP voters have so much concern about him that they might not even vote for him in a general election.

Overall, 30 percent of voters see Paul favorably to 47 percent who have a negative opinion.

Clinton leads Ben Carson 47 to 42. Ted Cruz, after his formal announcement in March, moved into the upper echelon of Republican candidates within the primary electorate, but there are still a lot of more moderate voters in his party who have deep concerns about him, according to PPP. The 15 percent of Republicans he loses to Clinton is the most of any of the party’s contenders and it puts him down 49 to 43. Also down by six points against Clinton is Jeb Bush at 46 to 40. 

The Republicans faring the worst in a match up against Clinton are Mike Huckabee who trails by seven, Rick Perry who trails by nine and Chris Christie who trails Clinton by nine.

Only 69 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Christie in the general, by far the lowest of any of the party’s possible candidates.

When it comes to the Democratic primary, Clinton’s position is unchanged from February. She was at 54 percent then and she’s at 54 percent now. Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent, Joe Biden at 7 percent, Bernie Sanders at 6 percent, Martin O’Malley at 3 percent, and Jim Webb at 2 percent round out the field.