The latest on the presidential horse race.

Tea Party Coup: Rand Paul Leads Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primary Polls

NBC News/Marist, 7/7-7/13
Iowa GOP

  • Paul: 12
  • Bush: 12
  • Ryan: 11
  • Santorum: 9
  • Christie: 8
  • Cruz: 7
  • Rubio: 7
  • Perry: 7
  • Walker: 5
  • Jindal: 1

NBC News/Marist, 7/7-7/13
New Hampshire GOP

  • Paul: 14
  • Christie: 13
  • Bush: 10
  • Cruz: 9
  • Ryan: 7
  • Rubio: 7
  • Walker: 6
  • Perry: 5
  • Jindal: 4
  • Santorum: 3

New NBC News/Marist polls from Iowa and New Hampshire show Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the lead in both the first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states.

According to the Iowa poll, conducted between July 7 and July 13, sampling 558 registered voters, Paul is tied for the lead with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush without Mike Huckabee in the picture.

If Huckabee does run, polls suggest he can pull off an Iowa win, just as he did when he ran in 2008 before losing the nomination to John McCain.

Without Huckabee, however, Paul and Bush are tied for first with 12 percent of the vote with Wisconsin Congressman and 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan right on their heels with 11 percent.

No other candidate is in double-digits but former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is at 9 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is at 8 percent, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Texas Governor Rick Perry are at 7 percent.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker trails the pack with 5 percent while Bobby Jindal finds himself in no-man’s-land with 1 percent.

In New Hampshire, where Paul has been strong throughout the polling season, the Tea Party favorite leads the Republican pack with 14 percent of the vote.

The poll, conducted between July 7 and July 13, sampling 544 registered voters, found that Chris Christie is right on his heels, however, with 13 percent.

Jeb Bush was the only other candidate to finish with double-digits, capturing 10 percent of the vote.

Cruz is right behind the front runners with 9 percent while Ryan and Rubio trail the Texas Senator with 7 percent of the vote.

Walker is at 6 percent, Perry is at 5 percent, Jindal is at 4 percent, and Santorum is at 3 percent.

Clearly the race is incredibly close but if Paul is able to pull off wins in both Iowa and New Hampshire, something no candidate has done since George W. Bush, he would certainly put himself in the best possible position to clinch the nomination moving forward.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)