Rand Paul pulling away, reaches 20% for first time in 2016 GOP poll

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Joe Biden,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Chris Christie,John Zogby,Jeb Bush

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the most active candidate on the 2016 Republican presidential trail, is starting to pull away from the field of competitors, reaching 20 percent support for the first time this year, according to a new Zogby Analytics poll.

The June 27-29 poll found Paul building a big lead over establishment candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, both at 13 percent, and three other key potential challengers: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, at 8 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, at 7 percent; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, at 4 percent.

Paul has been working key national issues, such as support for Israel, while also attempting to build a broad support base that includes libertarians, African Americans, conservatives and students.

Importantly, said the poll operation, “This is the first time a GOP candidate has reached 20 percent in a crowded field and the first time a Zogby poll has shown someone emerging a bit from the pack.” Only one other poll, a Rasmussen survey in November 2013, had Paul reaching 20 percent.

His support is strongest among men, middle-age voters, independents, conservatives, moderates, Protestants and evangelicals.

The poll of 282 likely and eligible voters in GOP presidential primaries of had a wide 6 percent margin of error.

Paul also led in the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, at 11 percent.

Among 612 likely Democratic primary voters polled, Hillary Clinton continued to show her strength at 52 percent. The others: Vice President Joe Biden, 8 percent; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 7 percent; Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, 4 percent; former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, 3 percent.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.