A new NBC News-Marist poll puts Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at the top of the list of 2016 Republican White House hopefuls in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Paul has a one percentage point lead (14 percent to 13 percent) over New Jersey governor Chris Christie in the Granite State. In a hypothetical general-election match up with Hillary Clinton, Paul trails the former Secretary of State by three points, 46-43 in New Hampshire.
Meantime, in Iowa, Paul is tied with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 12 percent of support from likely GOP voters there.
Paul hasn't formally declared his intention to run for president in 2016.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will continue to disagree over national security and other issues, but the Republican Party is big enough to accommodate both men's views.
In an apparent shot at Christie, Paul says Sunday "there's room for people who believe in bigger government in our party." The New Jersey governor is considered a moderate whose views on government spending differ sharply from the libertarian Paul's.
The two men, potential rivals for president in 2016, have been sparring for weeks.
Paul told "Fox News Sunday" that Republicans should concentrate growing the party instead of bickering. He said the GOP "is shrinking almost down to nothing" in the Northeast, Christie's home base, and needs people with new ideas to attract independents and Democrats.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't appear to want his war of words with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to end anytime soon.
Christie fired back at Paul on Tuesday for Paul's remark that New Jersey has a "Gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude about federal aid for Superstorm Sandy.
The spat began when the two differed over warrantless surveillance programs. Paul is against them, while Christie says they are needed for national security.
At a news conference Tuesday to announce homeowner grants for northern New Jersey residents affected by Sandy, Christie suggested Paul look at cutting "pork barrel spending" in his home state if he's worried about defense cuts.
Christie says Kentucky gets back $1.51 for every dollar its sends to Washington, while New Jersey gets back 61 cents.