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.
who battled eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into last year's primaries and caucuses
gosh CNN, how old is this article?
No real conservative wants RINO Christie. Go to any conservative site even Neo-religious-conservative Faux News and he is always does poorly polls. CNN likes Christie because he is a RINO just like McCain and Romney, progressive republicans (using the term loosely). Push forward another loser that wont get votes so another Legacy Politician get back into office. If the GOP goes with another RINO this presidential election they will lose like the have the last two elections.
I think its going to be Christie /Rubio ... Which will make me go for Hillary.. Christie will be attached to some Tea Party prick for VP (we all know it).
Not if the TPers have anything to say about his nomination
The GOP has a solid field of candidates this election cycle, but Cruz is a genuine star. I agree with James Carville; Cruz is going to eat their lunch during the debates.
Christie thinks GOP stands for Gravy On Pancakes.
People who make less than $50K need to be evicted from the Republican Party.
So, uneducated TP republicans are showing their colors by supporting the loud-mouthed empty suits. What else is new?
So much fun watching the GOTP rip itself to shreds.
ROLF,, If Mitch McConnell looses Christie wont even get into the Primaries. The old guard GOP is soon to be a thing of the past. RINO's are done and they know it.
He could be a formidable candidate, but he needs to clean out his "friends file" first.
Another RINO is correct! if you are a true patriot and respect our constitution you don't vote RINO's like Christie and or Hillary God forbid. There are young folks out there that will emerge till 2016 and they'll need our support that's if you are tired of both parties. So for me the choice is clear, I am sick and tired of the status quo and from both parties equally.
LoL! This is a CNN/ORC poll that surveyed a WHOPPING 849 people!
This number does not represent anything in America. From the rest of the polls I viewed, Rand Paul is on top.
Its so brave of CNN to provide financial assistance to polling companies when the questions in the polls are so obviously meaningless. Or is it just a cheap easy way to generate a story? Either way your lurch away from journalism towards entertainment continues. Congrats.
Way to mention that Senator Paul is in second overall. If you divide up all the Conservative and Moderate numbers, it's a virtual tie. Forget about anyone else. This will come down to a two man fight...Paul vs Christie. And no matter how hard they try, and RNC won't be able to shove Christie down our throats like they did with McCain and Romney so easily. Christie is better than Clinton or Biden, but really, elect him and nothing will change. Entitlements will continue and grow, war will continue, maybe get worse, our civil liberties will continue to evaporate, our tax code will see be over 70K pages of utter nonsense. Under a President Christie, the government will continue to grow and personal liberty will continue to shrink. Maybe just not as fast as under a Democrat.
It's a shame that we are in continual presidential campaign mode. Obama has not even completed the first year of his second term. Shame on CNN for hyping presidential politics so early.
I hope he runs! He is a no nonsense kind of guy. That would be refreshing!!
if they don't embrace Christie, they just as well forget about it....It's also going to be about his veep pick...he needs to stay moderate, or else he will lose. IF the right wing goes for somebody that is far right, the dem will win by a landslide....and this is coming from an independent...btw – that's where the final decisions come from
He should get the nomination since the rest of pack are either clowns or nuts or both. This guy should give Hillary C. some competition since the rest will be history before they start.
Christie, and anyone else that can call themselves a Moderate Republican. Can't think of anyone in Democrats I'd trust anymore.
Speaking purely objectively, when Chris Christie is the best your party has to offer, your party is in deep doo-doo. This guy is just another right winger active in the war on women masquerading as a moderate.
Bring out the rest of the republican clowns and have them all take a bow, welcoming Christie the Clown to the republican circus of candidates for the 2016 high office! :(
Hey whatever, keep the faith in not seeing Christie as a real conservative.It's deluded GOPers like you who keep Democrats in power ,and we appreciate your head-in-the-sand approach to political reality. Newsflash, genius, it's independents and perhaps Democrats looking for reasonable alternatives that decide presidential election and wackos like Cruz, Rand Paul and the like will jet propel you to another loss.
Christie does not have a chance in h3ll in winning the White House. The GOP Conservative base can see that this guy is nothing but a fat RINO. He might as well run WITH Hillary instead of against her. I'm surprised he's not on Obama's Cabinet.
Rino this Rino that, at some point the Tea Party idiots will need to get the message that losing elections and calling everyone who disagrees your point of view on the conservative side of the aisle isn't getting the job done.