Elections
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 14, 2013.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Early 2016 poll: Rand Paul holds big lead in Iowa

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

In an early poll conducted in Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating caucus in the country, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul far outpaced his potential Republican presidential opponents.

A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster McKeon & Associates for Freedom to Choose PAC, a pro-gun group, found Paul with an early lead over other possible presidential contenders.

The poll, provided to The Daily Caller, surveyed 804 registered Iowa voters using phone interviews. 328 usually participated in the Republican presidential caucuses, and 247 said they usually participated in the Democratic caucuses. The poll was conducted on April 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Among voters who said they usually took part in the Republican presidential caucuses, 39 percent said they would vote for Paul if the caucuses were held today. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was in a distant second place with 20 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was at 11 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at 10 percent, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was tied with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at three percent.

Paul’s lead was buoyed by his strong support among independent voters, who said they usually attend the Republican caucuses. Sixty-seven percent said they would support Paul. The other 33 percent said they would support Christie.

Among self-identified Republicans, Rubio and Paul ran close, with Rubio getting the support 24 percent and Paul getting the support of 30 percent. Christie’s share of the vote fell to four percent among such voters.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a commanding lead with 43 percent of the vote. Twenty-seven percent said they would support Vice President Joe Biden, and 11 percent would vote for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Nine percent said they would support another candidate.

Asked about the Senate’s recent vote on background checks, 52 percent said they agreed with the Senate’s rejection of the proposal, while 46 percent said they disagreed.

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