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Ranking the 2016 Republicans in the NBC/WSJ poll

Since last December, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has been measuring the favorability-unfavorability numbers for the potential 2016 candidates.

And here’s a fun little exercise First Read has undertaken: We've ranked the Republican possibilities by popularity -- among GOP respondents in the poll, as well conservatives respondents.

There are two big findings: One, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the former 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are leading the pack. And two, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- despite his crossover appeal -- is trailing among Republicans and conservatives.

And get this: Christie has better ratings among liberal Democrats (44% positive, 14% negative) than he does among Republicans (40% favorable, 16% unfavorable) or conservatives (33 favorable, 15% unfavorable).

Among Republican respondents in the NBC/WSJ poll:

Paul Ryan: 62% favorable, 13% unfavorable (Dec. 2012 poll)

Rand Paul: 53% favorable, 6% unfavorable (April 2013)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): 49% favorable, 6% unfavorable (April 2013)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 48% favorable, 7% unfavorable (May-June 2013)

Chris Christie: 40% favorable, 16% unfavorable (May-June 2013)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: 21% favorable, 5% unfavorable (May-June 2013)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): 21% favorable, 6% unfavorable (May-June 2013)

And here’s the ranking among conservative respondents in our poll:

Paul Ryan: 58% favorable, 11% unfavorable

Rand Paul: 47% favorable, 5% unfavorable

Marco Rubio: 45% favorable, 6% unfavorable

Jeb Bush: 44% favorable, 7% unfavorable

Chris Christie: 33% favorable, 15% unfavorable

Ted Cruz: 21% favorable, 6% unfavorable

Scott Walker 19% favorable, 5% unfavorable