The latest on the presidential horse race.

Rand Paul Leads GOP Pack in New Hampshire Primary Race

WMUR/UNH, 1/21-1/26
New Hampshire

  • Paul: 16
  • Ayotte: 13
  • Brown: 11
  • Christie: 9
  • Ryan: 6
  • Rubio: 6
  • Bush: 3
  • Cruz: 3

We have seen a lot of national Republican primary polls but primaries don’t take place nationally. The primary schedule is a crucial aspect of the primary process because stringing together a few wins can bring a ton of momentum to a candidate’s campaign as they head toward the next stage. Perhaps no primary is more important than New Hampshire, the first primary in the nation.

A new Granite State poll, sponsored by WMUR and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, has found that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul leads the Republican primary race while every other major candidate failed to garner double-digit support.

The poll, conducted between January 21 and January 26, sampling 246 likely Republican voters, has found that the son of perennial presidential candidate Ron Paul leads the Granite State primary with 16 percent of the vote. Paul has now seen at least 15 percent in every University of New Hampshire poll taken since April of 2013.

The other candidates were at a disadvantage because the Paul name is quite popular in New Hampshire. In 2012, Ron Paul finished second in the New Hampshire primary with 23 percent of the vote. Now, Rand is taking over and has a good chance.

New Hampshire voters only vote for who they know so finishing second was New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte with 13 percent. Ayotte’s name has been floated as a potential candidate but she is unlikely to run. She does, however, have a good chance of being picked as a running mate.

Coming in third was Scott Brown, the former Senator from neighboring Massachusetts with 11 percent of the vote. Brown is also unlikely to run.

Chris Christie was the second-ranked “major candidate,” finishing with 9 percent of the vote. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio received 6 percent apiece. Donald Trump garnered four percent. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz each received 3 percent. Another 6 percent said they prefer to vote for someone else while 18 percent remain undecided.

Paul has the advantage but New Hampshire is a state that requires a lot of campaigning. Clearly, the other candidates have a lot of work to do.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)