November 29th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 months ago

Christie leads possible 2016 GOP contenders in CNN/ORC poll

Washington (CNN) – A new national poll indicates, that for the first time, there may be an early frontrunner in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

And according to a CNN/ORC International survey, if Hillary Clinton decides against making another bid for the White House, Vice President Joe Biden would be the initial favorite to capture the Democratic nomination.

The poll, released Friday morning, indicates that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, fresh off his Garden State re-election landslide victory and widespread national media attention, jumped to the top of the pack of potential contenders for the GOP nomination.

Twenty-four percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP questioned in the survey say they'd be likely to support Christie for the Republican nomination, up seven percentage points from a CNN poll in early September. Back then, Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget chairman and the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, were virtually tied at the top of the GOP list, with Christie at 17% and Ryan at 16%.

But Ryan, who's stayed mostly away from the political spotlight the past few months, has dropped to 11%, putting him in third place, slightly behind Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, at 13%. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who like Paul has made multiple trips this year to the states that kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar, like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, stands at 10% in the survey, the only other Republican White House hopeful to get double-digit support.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is at 9% in the poll, with longtime Texas Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry at 7%, and former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who battled eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into last year's primaries and caucuses, each at 6%.

The poll suggests a wide divide over income among Republican voters.

"Among Republicans making more than $50,000, Christie wins 32% support, 20 points higher than Cruz, Ryan, or Marco Rubio, all of whom get 12% among higher-income GOPers, and 23 points higher than Paul," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But among Republicans who make less than $50,000 a year, Christie's support drops 19 points, only good enough for second place behind Paul."

If Hillary doesn't run

The CNN poll, along with all other 2016 surveys released this year, indicates that Clinton would be the overwhelming frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Sixty-three percent of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democratic Party say the former secretary of state, who also served as senator from New York and first lady, would be their choice for the party's nomination, with Biden a distant second at 12%. Freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a favorite of many progressives, stands at 7%, with New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 5% and two-term Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, another possible candidate, at 2%.

But how would the race for the Democratic nomination shape up if Clinton forgoes another run for the White House?

If that's the case, the poll suggests that 43% of Democrats would support the Vice President, with Warren at 17%, Cuomo at 15% and O'Malley at 6%.

"Always remember that polls taken at this point in the election cycle usually measure name recognition rather than predicting support at the ballot box," notes Holland. "Respondents rarely say they would vote for someone they have never heard of, and a lot of the names tested in the poll in both parties belong to politicians who do not have a national reputation."

The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans, including 418 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, and 374 Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points for questions just of Democrats or Republicans.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • CNN/ORC poll • Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. OrmondGeorge

    Mike wrote:

    "Christy is happiest when he's licking Obama's shoes."

    November 29, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |

    MIKE, you and people who think like you are the BIGGEST reason that Hillary will be a two term President.

    YEAH, we'll still have to get out the vote, but if you don't put up a Republican candidate who strands a chance (in this case, that would be CHRISTIE) you will get slaughtered AGAIN on election day.

    The worst part (for you) is that the convictions that you honor so fervently are generally WRONG.

    November 29, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Dimenser

    Who cares about 2016? Let's start talking about 2028 or 2068! It's never too early CNN!

    November 29, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Yeahhhhh Right

    Except... Christie can't win the nomination. But, suspending reality for a second, if he DID win the nomination, he'd have to swing so hard to the right during the primaries... he'll turn off a lot of Independents he'd need to win the election. So unless the Republican Party sheds itself of the TP blight.... Christie has no chance getting elected in 2016.

    November 29, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Anonymous

    He's just like Bush. He's a neocon and not fiscally conservative.

    November 29, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  5. ST

    In the end Christie will find himself neither Party supports him. This man has no any stand. He keeps blowing to the direction the wind blows to. Neither conservatives nor libs like this kind of behaviour. He may think he is smart, BUT I can assure him that people he is playing with are more smarter than he is.

    November 29, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. PortOurTroops

    There certainly isn't a Republican in Congress who is a leader. None of them have a brain of their own. They just follow their crowd, pouting in lockstep

    Is it Congress that does it to them, or just a new habit of the Republican party?

    November 29, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. dajowi

    "Christie leads possible 2016..." Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. There's lots of room for screw ups and much time before the nomination. This is meaningless.

    Likewise, in as far as a "this is a big fukking deal," Biden nomination. This guy's got to be the biggest vice presidential clown in history.

    November 29, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. current state of the union

    Please run Ryan, he would have to explain his proposed tax code, no tax for the rich, more loopholes for big businesses, and higher taxes for the working and poor, cut ss, Medicare, Medicaid, and give you a voucher: that in four years would be worthless, and give all the money you paid to ss, for more tax breaks for the rich, read it

    November 29, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. justanotherconservative

    Dave W. – Dr. Ben Carson clearly said he's not running for president. He retired from Johns Hopkins because he's tired of working. However, I do agree with you that we should have REAL role models as our president rather than people who can only articulate their way to spew lies and cover for their mess-ups.
    On-topic – I doubt that Christie will win if he's against Hillary. A majority of Americans aren't ones who are interested in politics, but rather ones who are interested in saying "oh I voted to have the first female president."

    November 29, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. sammy750

    Beware of Christie, he rules like Walker in WI, Scott in FL. Christie is a far right Conservative, but has a Democrat Senate to content with. Christie is a Tea Party member and would rule this nation like the Republicans Governors now do. Taking away the rights of the people. Voter rights, health care rights, reduction in Education, higher taxes, and the war against women. People of this USA would lose lots of rights under any Republican administration.

    November 29, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. gwendolyn morse

    America will have a terrible time IF Christie is elected. I'm from NJ now living in Alabama 40+ years. My friend in 1998 was paying $10,000 property tax on a 3 bedroom 1-1/2 bath home PER YEAR. My property taxes on my 4 bedroom 2 bath home in Alabama just paid for 2013 were $735.00. Then in the news Christie said despite all the property revenue at extremely high tax rate NJ was $1 billion short. If he's elected as a widow on limited and fixed income with NJ tax rate I'd loose my home. MY ADVICE... UNLESS YOU LIKE HIGH TAXES DON'T VOTE FOR CHRISTIE.

    November 29, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. T.M.Reddy

    It is long way to go. Too many things to sort out. It is too early to predict. People rely on short term memories. My vote at that time depends on the credibility of candidate not a party affiliation. Give your vote to the person who can bring the DR + RD appreciates his or her positions.

    November 29, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Tim

    If the Republicans were smart they would nominate Christie who would get some Democratic and independent support in a general election. However, the GOP is not smart. Case closed. Some out of touch far right-winger will capture the nomination and fail to broaden their base. It seems rather predictable these days.

    November 29, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. MDL

    The essential difference between Liberals and Conservatives is that liberals could not exist without Conservatives to defend their freedom and support them economically. Conservatives on the other hand can exist and live quite well without Liberals.

    November 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Chukch

    Gov. Christie seem to only take advice from himself and somewhat disrespectful to others. He would not make a good president or vice-president ( scary ).

    November 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. John

    Gary Johnson 2016

    Do not know who he is, research him.

    November 29, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. PtBarnumBoy

    He just may be so big that a mama grizzly can't stop him??

    November 29, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. standardissue

    Does it really matter who the GOP puts up against Hilary Clinton in 2016? She'll go down faster than the Titanic with the stigma of Obama tied around her neck.

    November 29, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. It's 2013

    Chris Christie was chosen as a presidential candidate for the people in 2012. perhaps even earlier. Why do people bother going to the polls anymore? They get to choose between two candidates that were pre-selected for them. What's the point?

    November 29, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Mike Mentges

    If he is even nominated the GOP will guarantee the destruction of this country under Clinton. (Not that Bush and Obama have not done enough) But further Democrat control will take the train through the brick wall and off the cliff in to the ocean.

    November 29, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    The Republican presidential primary with many states using the caucus election process will work against Gov Christie. Tea Partiers and conservative purists who consider him a RINO will block his nomination.

    November 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. olepi

    Hehe! The RINO, the not-really-a-Republican, the friend of President Obama's, the one who's "tired of the crazies", is the GOP's leader.

    BWAHAHAHA!

    November 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. darwintales

    I'd vote for Christie and I typically lean towards democrats. A lot of people view politics the same way we view the NFL and just blindly root for their favorite team. With the political environment being the way it has been for the last 40 years it would be nice to have someone in office that appeals to certain areas of both of the big parties. I believe Christie, and his no nonsense leadership style would be very welcomed and appreciated by us citizens with such a "do nothing" congress.

    November 29, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Greg

    Until we get rid of the 2 party system, we will always be screwed! We need a candidate that doesn't lean one way or the other and stands in the middle. People have to compromise and accept some stances just won't go your way while others' will. Vote Independent and help create a "middle ground"...and maybe our grandchildren will still have a country that won't implode. Our country in very, very young compared to the rest of the world and look what happened to them, the Roman, Ottoman empires, etc. Lobbyists, I mean $, is not the reason to run the country the way we have let it, otherwise we are doomed and we will not be the unique great 'ole USA that we started like (and were intended to be)!

    November 29, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Sheila

    Hogwash! This is a ploy by the media – anyone with brains knows Christie is NOT conservative but he is being pushed out in order to get another Dem in the White House (God forbid!). The same thing was done with Romney – the media ruined any chance of a real conservative running for office. I hope we are smarter this time or we are in deep yogurt! We need a true conservative who won't destroy the Constitution, which is the law of the land!

    November 29, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
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