-Only 35% of Kentucky voters think Rand Paul should run for President, compared to 49% who think he should sit it out. But he'd still be a favorite in both the primary and general elections in the state.
34% of GOP primary voters say he'd be their top choice to 20% for Jeb Bush, 12% Chris Christie, 7% Ted Cruz, 5% each for Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, 3% for Bobby Jindal, and 2% each for Rick Santorum and Scott Walker. Paul's standing is pretty similar to the 31% he had in April. He's particularly strong with voters identifying as 'very conservative,' where he gets 43% to 16% for Bush. The big mover since the spring has been Rubio, who's declined from 17% on our last poll down all the way now to 5%.
Paul is also the strongest Republican for the general election in Kentucky, leading Hillary Clinton by 6 points at 49/43. Bush and Christie both lead Clinton by 4 points at 46/42 and 44/40 respectively. Ted Cruz actually trails Clinton 44/41 in the state, a good data point for how weak he is. Clinton does far better than Barack Obama did in all of these match ups, even if winning the state still seems like a long shot.
-Paul has a decent 49/40 approval rating but Kentucky's most popular politician is its Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, who comes in at 51/33. Speaking to the difficulty Democrats have in federal races in Kentucky though, Paul would lead Beshear 49/42 in a hypothetical contest despite Beshear's greater popularity. In a rematch of their 2010 contest Paul would lead Jack Conway by the same 12 point margin of victory he attained last time around, 50/38. Half way through his first term Paul's in pretty decent shape for getting another.