Early Presidential Candidates Trail With Seniors

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took the stage at a Louisville rally Tuesday to chants of “President Paul” from the crowd. But one important voting group – seniors – is not making the libertarian senator their number one pick in 2016.One month before announcing he would seek the Republican presidential nomination, the first-time candidate fared poorly in a Morning Consult poll of 3,975 seniors: Presented with a panel of 10 likely candidates, just 3 percent said Paul was their first choice.That figure put him even with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Vice President Joe Biden. The only candidate who trailed Paul was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), with 2 percent.

Seniors are an important voting bloc, particularly in primaries, because they reliably show up at the polls.

The Republicans who beat out Paul were Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 4 percent, Ben Carson at 6 percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent each.

Among Republican voters, 5 percent said Paul was their candidate of choice, putting him ahead of Rubio at 4 percent and Hillary Clinton at 2 percent. The frontrunner among GOP candidates was Walker, with 20 percent of Republican voters picking him. Bush was a close second with 19 percent.

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Cruz, the only other candidate to have formally announced a White House bid, took 8 percent of the Republican vote.Four percent of independents chose Paul, who garnered just 1 percent from Democrats.
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Paul did particularly poorly among urban and liberal voters, with 1 percent of those categories choosing him, and moderates, with 2 percent.Some of his best numbers came from those with a track record of voting for Republicans: Those who voted Republican in 2014 and those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 gave Paul 6 percent of their vote. Voters whose top issue was healthcare also picked Paul first at a higher rate, with 5 percent giving him the top spot.
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This poll was conducted online from March 23 through March 26 among a national sample of 3,975 seniors. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult