Paul tops 2013 early state travel

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was the most traveled potential candidate to early presidential primary states in 2013, racking up eight visits over the last year.

Paul ventured twice to Iowa, once to New Hampshire and four times to South Carolina -- in addition to touching down in Nevada, which is expected to host the second caucus of 2016.

Paul's been the least coy about his intentions, acknowledging he's mulling a presidential bid but noting that a significant hurdle will be getting his wife on board.  He was the only 2016 contender to hit each of the early four states.

The only other aspirant to come close to Paul's travel schedule was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has claimed he's completely focused on the Senate, while making three visits to Iowa, two to South Carolina and one to New Hampshire.

Two other top-tier GOP candidates: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio mostly stayed away from the early state parade. Christie, who had his own re-election to tend to, made one trip to Nevada in August to raise money; Rubio swore off early state travel altogether. 

Here are your 2013 totals of early state visits:

Rand Paul: 8 -- Iowa (2), New Hampshire (1), South Carolina (4), Nevada (1)

Ted Cruz: 6 -- Iowa (3), New Hampshire (1), South Carolina (2), Nevada (-)

Rick Santorum: 4 -- Iowa (2), New Hampshire (0), South Carolina (2), Nevada (-)

Bobby Jindal: 3 -- Iowa (1), New Hampshire (1), South Carolina (1), Nevada (-)

Rick Perry: 3 -- Iowa (1), New Hampshire (0), South Carolina (2), Nevada (-)

Scott Walker: 3 -- Iowa (1), New Hampshire (-), South Carolina (1), Nevada (1)

Paul Ryan: 2 -- Iowa (1), New Hampshire (1), South Carolina (-), Nevada (-)

Jeb Bush: 1 -- Iowa (-), New Hampshire (-), South Carolina (1), Nevada (-)

Chris Christie: 1 -- Iowa (-), New Hampshire (-), South Carolina (-), Nevada (1)

South Carolina was by far the most frequently visited early state for Republicans this year.  It registered 13 visits.

For Democrats, early state travel was considerably slower, due to the shadow of Hillary Clinton.

While Clinton did not step foot in an early primary state, Vice President Joe Biden made two visits to South Carolina (one official and one political) and one to Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley made an initial foray into South Carolina in March and headlined a Democratic dinner in New Hampshire last month.  Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean touched down in Iowa and New Hampshire and both Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer made one visit to Iowa.