Washington (CNN)Rand Paul could keep competitive with Hillary Clinton in the swing states of Colorado and Virginia if poll numbers released Wednesday hold.
Poll: Rand Paul tied with Hillary Clinton in two swing states
Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky, finds himself within the margin of error in hypothetical head-to-head contests against Clinton in Colorado and Virginia, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The former secretary of state is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, though neither Clinton nor Paul have formally launched a campaign.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the leading GOP establishment prospect, also ties Clinton in Virginia and social conservative favorite former Gov. Mike Huckabee comes within three points of Clinton's 44 percent edge.
Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker, who is having a bump in polling following a positively received Iowa speech last month, also pulls a virtual tie against Clinton in Colorado.
None of the potential Republican candidates included in the Quinnipiac survey come close to matching Clinton's support in the crucial state of Iowa where Bush, Huckabee, Paul, Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all face 7- to 10-point deficits against Clinton.
Christie is struggling the most of the five Republican candidates, according to the poll, trailing Clinton by at least five points in each of the three states.
President Barack Obama beat the Republican nominee in all three states in both 2008 and 2012, though the wins were among Obama's tightest margins.
As in past polls, Bush continues to face the burden of his family name: about 4-in-10 Colorado voters and 35 percent of voters in Iowa and Virginia said they were less likely to support Bush because his brother and father have both been president.
Clinton's family ties aren't as much of an issue for her, with less than a quarter of voters in each of the three states less likely to vote for her because Clinton's husband, Bill, was president.