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Rand Paul Shows Early Strength in New Hampshire Poll

The early numbers show the Republican primary field is wide open, with new faces ranking beside legacy names.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at an election rally for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at Bowman Field November 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at an election rally for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at Bowman Field November 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Republican Rand Paul is showing early strength for a possible 2016 presidential bid in the first primary state, where a Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll shows him running slightly ahead of more established names. 

When 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney is removed from the mix, the Kentucky senator and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie share the top spot, with each drawing 16 percent support from likely Republican primary voters. Romney, who has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for president a third time, leads the potential pack with 30 percent when included.