Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) says a new poll that shows him a a top choice among Texas Republicans to run for Senate has him thinking about the race.

"It's certainly crossed my mind," Paul told The Ballot Box of a potential run for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) Senate seat next year. 

New numbers out Wednesday from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Paul was second only to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) among Texas Republicans asked who they want to see run for the seat in 2012.

The poll found Dewhurst to be the top choice of Republicans, garnering 23 percent support. But Paul was right behind him as the pick of 20 percent of GOP voters.

The two-time presidential candidate stressed that his potential interest in a Senate seat wasn't anything new, but admitted the poll numbers had peaked his interest.

Paul said "a lot of people" brought the numbers to his attention Wednesday.

"I was surprised," he said of the poll results, quickly adding that a run for the Senate has crossed his mind several times in the past, "so I don't know that it means much." 

The poll also found Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had the support of 14 percent of GOP voters, followed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) with 7 percent and Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones at 6 percent. No other rumored contenders polled above 3 percent among Texas Republicans. 

Paul is also a rumored presidential candidate in 2012, but said he has made no decisions on anything just yet.

Paul's son, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN MORE (R-Ky.), won a hotly contested Senate race this past November. It's another reason some think Paul might seriously consider a 2012 Senate bid.