The latest on the presidential horse race.

Rand Paul Holds Strong Lead in Home State of Kentucky

PPP, 12/12-12/15
Kentucky GOP

  • Paul: 34
  • Bush: 20
  • Christie: 12
  • Cruz: 7
  • Rubio: 5
  • Jindal: 3
  • Walker: 2
  • Santorum: 2

As expected, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has a strong lead in the Bluegrass State’s Republican primary according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul and a first term Senator, leads the GOP nomination race with 34 percent of the vote, well ahead of any other candidate in the race. In the last poll taken all the way back in April, Paul had a similar 31 percent. After winning his Senate seat in 2010 over Democrat Jack Conway with nearly 56 percent of the vote, Paul is certainly in line to win the state’s Republican primary, assuming he runs.

Coming in a distant second was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 20 percent of the vote. That’s a seven-point increase from his 13 percent finish in the last poll.

Chris Christie, the frontrunner in the race for the nomination, finished third with 14 percent of the vote. That’s still an improvement over the 10 percent he saw in the last poll.

No one else was even in the ballpark as Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished a very distant fourth with 7 percent of the vote. Cruz is still a lesser known candidate and is largely suffering from lack of name recognition. He wasn’t even included on the last poll.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio both finished with 5 percent of the vote. That’s an expected finish for Ryan, who finished with just 3 percent in the last poll, but a huge blow to Rubio who was polling at 17 percent in Kentucky before the field expanded.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum all failed to get 5 percent and don’t figure to factor much into the race.

Ten percent of respondents said they were undecided or preferred someone else, down from 16 percent in April.

Kentucky’s 2016 primary is expected to be held in the middle of May and will award 41 convention delegates to the winner. In 2012, Mitt Romney won the state’s delegates with a strong 66.8 percent of the vote.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)