Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) are the most popular in Iowa among a large field of potential GOP presidential candidates, according to a one-day poll conducted by the Republican firm WPA Opinion Research and first reported by the Des Moines Register.
Huckabee took 14 percent in the poll of Republican primary voters, followed by Paul with 10 percent. Nine other possible candidates were in the single digits: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 8 percent; Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) at 7 percent; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 6 percent; former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) at 5 percent; Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 3 percent; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 2 percent. The biggest winner, at 26 percent, was "undecided."
Huckabee called the results of an earlier national WPA poll, which also found him at the top of the 2016 pack, "encouraging." However, he said he wouldn't make any decisions on whether to run until after the midterm elections.
Since none of the potential candidates have officially thrown their hats into the ring and the Iowa caucus is almost two years out, polling often says as much about politicians' current name recognition as it does about their chances in 2016. Huckabee won the Iowa caucus in 2012, while Paul has visited the state and recently hired Iowa's GOP chairman to advise his political action committee.
The poll results are similar to a recent survey by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, which also found each candidate had support from less than 20 percent of respondents. Huckabee took 17 percent, followed by Paul at 14 percent and Bush at 13 percent.
WPA polled 402 Republicans by phone, including both landlines and cell phones. The survey was conducted March 30.