A new Zogby Analytics of likely Republican primary voters shows that the 2012 nominee is in the lead for 2016, but only three points ahead of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and current Florida Senator Marco Rubio.The poll of 223 likely primary voters was conducted online January 16-18 and has a margin of sampling error of +/-6.6 percentage points.

Romney is on top with support from 16% of the voters, followed by Bush and Rubio with 13% each. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is next with 11%, followed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 9%, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 6%, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl with 4%, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz all at 3%. Other names included South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum --- all receiving less than 1%.

Romney does better among men (20%) than women (13%) and among self-identified Republicans (19%). Bush also does better among men (16%) than women (10%) and gets 14% support among self-identified Republicans (14%). But Rubio is receiving 22% support among women to only 4% of men and does equally well (16% each) among both self-identified Republicans and conservatives. Christie's support is slightly better among women (13%) than men (9%) and about even among self-identified Republicans (11%) and conservatives (12%).

The sample is of course small but there is enough data to draw some conclusions. The first is that there is certainly no runaway frontrunner. At a time when name recognition matters, both the former party nominee and the scion of the nation's preeminent Republican family are polling anemically. The second takeaway is the fact the Rubio has entered the first tier, especially among GOP women and is able to do well among both establishment and conservative voters. He has gained 6 points just in the last month. He will definitely receive more scrutiny and we will see if he can emerge as the frontrunner.

The third observation is how far Paul has slipped - he was at 10% last month, higher in previous polls. Now he is down to 3%. Has he been crowded out or has he lost his one key characteristic - authenticity? Paul's appeal includes his capacity to capture the support of young people and his non-intervention position on foreign crises. He seems to have contradicted himself on foreign policy and perhaps now that the field is solidifying, he may not be seen as someone who can (or should win). But whatever the reason, he has definitely lost ground. Many of us have been expecting Paul to be a player in the hotly contested primaries and to emerge at the Republican National Convention with enough delegates and high intensity youth support to have a seat at the table. He can't do that at 3%.

It is far too early to draw firm conclusions but there is enough here to suggest fluidity on the GOP side.