Among voters in Iowa—a key primary state—U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is the strongest Republican in the field of prospective 2016 presidential candidates, says a new poll by Quinnipiac University.
Kentucky's junior senator leads current Vice President Joe Biden by five points among Iowa voters— and he trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic frontrunner, by only four points.
Those totals are better than Sen. Marco Rubio, the Floridian who is also a leading Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election.
In the Quinnipiac poll, Rubio barely edges Biden and trails Clinton by nine points.
The polling numbers come on heels of his keynote speech to Iowa Republicans weeks ago. But a major reason for Paul's strong standing in Iowa is his perception among Iowa's independent voters.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says an increasing number of state legislators are lining up in support of legalizing the growing of hemp as a cash crop for Kentucky farmers.
Bills have been filed in both the Kentucky House and Senate to allow the growing of industrial hemp after licensing through the agriculture department.
Speaking before the Kentucky Commodities Conference in Bowling Green Friday, Comer told WKU Public Radio hemp is a crop with potential uses for industry, clothing, paper and more. The biggest problem, he said, is overcoming the opposition of law enforcement agencies that fear growing hemp could lead to an increase in marijuana growing. The two plants are almost identical and police say hemp would serve as a cover for marijuana plots.