Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is just the 2nd candidate officially running for the White House in 2016 (Ted Cruz being the other official candidate), but the polls are already beginning to compare him to other possible entries.
In Quinnipiac’s most recent poll of battleground states and potential candidates, a surprising result popped up in the purple states of Iowa and Colorado. Senator Paul was polling ahead of his most likely Democrat challenger, Hillary Clinton!
Clinton has long been expected to be the Democrat nominee, and with no other names even being seriously considered, her poll numbers have continually dwarfed all-comers. However, now as the field begins to actually take shape (and her various recent scandals begin coming to light) her poll numbers have begun to crash, literally.
|COLORADO: Paul 44 – Clinton 41IOWA: Paul 43 – Clinton 42
VIRGINIA: Clinton 47 – Paul 43
|Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa.|
|Voters in each state say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Her overall favorability has dropped significantly in Colorado and Iowa, while Virginia is unchanged.
|“These numbers are a boost for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as he formally launches his campaign,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.|
|“Ominous for Hillary Clinton is the broad scope of the movement today compared to her showing in Quinnipiac University’s mid-February survey. It isn’t just one or two Republicans who are stepping up; it’s virtually the entire GOP field that is running better against her.|
|“That’s why it is difficult to see Secretary Clinton’s slippage as anything other than a further toll on her image from the furor over her e-mail.”|
|“In all three of these states, more, and in Colorado many more, registered voters say she is not honest and trustworthy,” Brown added.|
If Rand Paul could win Iowa and Colorado, he would very likely be the next President… especially if he were to win by a margin as big as his current lead in those states. Victories like that would indicate a national trend that was likely even larger, meaning that he could win a dominant victory on election night 2016. Even though Rand Paul seems to be polling best in a head to head matchup against Hillary Clinton, the entire GOP field has actually improved against her in recent months. So it is possible that any of the other candidates could see a similar result in the upcoming weeks and months. However, Senator Paul is the one GOP candidate who is best positioned to broaden the GOP base (a la Ronald Reagan in 1980), with his brand of libertarian-Republicanism and his efforts to reach out to the African-American community. He’s also far more “conservative” (especially when it comes to the constitution) than Jeb Bush or Chris Christie, which should help him solidify the GOP base. The question is, can Rand Paul quiet the worries of some GOP voters that he’ll be too dovish on foreign policy matters?
I guess we’ll find out over the coming months.
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