Ballots won’t be cast in the 2016 Republican presidential primary for almost three more years, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is sitting atop the prospective field in Public Policy Polling’s latest tally of New Hampshire voters.
Paul leads Florida Senator Marco Rubio 28-25 percent, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie taking third with 14 percent. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan each tally 7 percent, with Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez in a virtual tie at 4 and 3 percent. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Texas Governor Rick Perry each notched 1 percent.
For Paul, the son of former presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul, the poll marks a massive 24-point uptick from the last PPP survey of New Hampshire, conducted in November of last year.
Then he sat at 4 percent, with Christie atop the field at 21 percent.
Rubio has also seen his support rise, from 14 percent to 25 percent, though that’s less than half of Paul’s surging numbers.
According to the survey’s results, independent voters are the driving force behind the change, with Paul netting 32 percent of their support, compared to 19 and 17 for Christie and Rubio, respectively. Rubio leads the field when narrowed to registered Republicans, edging Paul 29-26 percent.