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.
What a joke! It's not bad enough that YOU the "mainstream" media gave us the disaster named Barrack Obama, now, once again, you are trying to pick the Republican nominee for us! No thanks!
And, how sad and pathetic that ANYONE would endorse Hillary (the czar wannbe in a pantssuit) or the public joke that is Joe Biden! Your party has a soul problem, after the brain problem, of course!
Why would any TPer vote for Krispy? Even if he were to run, he would have to out flip Romney, and that would be impossible.
Remember the Bell Curve? Christie sits under the middle, as do MOST Americans... The TP is far right on the curve and VERY vocal. They need to realize that saying that moderate Republican's are conservative enough and RINO's has not won them a Presidential election in recent years, in spite of the $1 BILLION spent in 2012. Repeating the same set of procedures and expecting a different outcome seems to fit the TP and GOP well..
I swear on my soul I will never vote for that fat RINO Christie for President.
Why do we care! It's not even 2014 yet. We all know that the electorate is fickle so while Christie may be leading the GOP polls now even as soon as next week he could be in last place. Let's stop this constant presidential coverage!
I'm tiered of Chicago Pizza , it's time we elect a guy who knows good food and is not ashamed to show it .
All this health food coming out of this administration is killing the economy.
America invented the Super Size concept , It's time for America to do big things again .
why would you poll independents for a republican primary election ? ....... what a wasted article
We have been fortunate to have avoided any candidate supported by the crazy right wing lie machine in the last two election cycles. They should figure out that there is more to an elections than making up crap, and flinging it at democrats.
Nice picture that has been touched up to make fatso look like he isn't fat and no he isn't leading the way it is the lame stream media trying to tell you that because he is a lib...rino...elections are still 2 years away...just lies and nonsense that means nothing...
Christie is really the only one in that GOP group that has a chance to win. The rest are too extreme to get independent votes if the Democrats nominate Hilary Clinton.
You can pick your nose, you can pick your team, but you can't pick the GOP!
TPers attacking Rinos on this post, what joy. What will the right wing media lie machine say about that? Oh yeah, it's Obama's fault.
Just goes to show you that the less educated and less intelligent Republicans will always vote for people that will make them even poorer.
I know it's off topic, but anybody remember if Obama ever spent Thanksgiving with the troops instead of the dozen or so pies served by the White House chef?
AWESOME...Clinton or Christie...is this what this country has stooped to? Stuck on Stupit seems to be the mantra.
Kenman, I am sorry, but republicans no longer tend to have anything useful – or even believable – to say, so your ranting is not terribly useful.
Another thing that is not particularly useful is this poll. A week is a fairly long time in presidential politics – so three years is eternity. Christie and Clinton have more name recognition that anyone else, and they both have fan bases that think they can win... so they win the polls. Biden should be the runner up, because he also has name recognition. But none of this is remotely useful in predicting who will be a front runner in a year, let alone three years.
There's only one small problem–Republicans HATE him.
This is just a political spin by cnn, we have already seen the next democratic candidate and it won't be Hillary. As for the republican candidate, at least we have a choice,
Cnn is doing this now to keep things stired up so later they can spin the BIG SURPRISE CANDIDATE.
The Republicans can't agree on much amongst themselves. From the man who many Republicans describe as a left-wing Governor in Chris Christie to a bomb-throwing right-wing Tea Partier in Rand Paul, their ideology trumps any sensible middle ground that the American people are seeking. I actually cannot wait until those forces collide at the convention. This is gonna be fun to watch!
In the meantime...Go Hilary!
Christy is no dummy, you got to give him that. He played every single one of you dems in NJ that voted for him. Everything he has done since Hurricane Sandy was simply preparing himself for 2016. After the GOP threw him to the wolves, he distanced himself very far from the POTUS and immediately began speaking negative about him, he then got the weight loss surgery, he also went along with a few things you supported like marijuana therapy. He made sure his name didn't have to be on the ballot with Cory Booker by holding a special election just weeks before the regular election. He told you just what you wanted to hear and you fell for it hook, line and sinker. And now he won't be fulfilling any of his promises because big boy sees his road to the WH, and with the likes of Paul, Rubio, Cruz and Perry, he knows he has it in the bag. And with Fox on their side and no one on the Dem side with a pair except Hillary, the POTUS and Holder, we could be looking at the next POTUS.
I bet he is going to need a lift to get him up AF1 steps. He'll never be able to run up or down those......
If the Republicans must check first with Rush Limbaugh, why not run Rush Limbaugh. They need someone with the authority to make decisions , that leaves only Rush Limbaugh..
Christie as presidential candidate?
Bet 10-to-1 that Republicans would lose with him at the helm.
Christie will have the same problem Romney did: you can't get the GOP nomination without positioning yourself as a far right wing zealot, but you can't win the national election without positioning yourself as a moderate. Romney failed to convince enough swing voters that he wasn't just an insincere flip-flopper who would say anything to get elected, and it's doubtful Christie can do any better.
Why is it that about half of all "articles" on CNN are about some meaningless poll or whether Hillary will run?
In spite of Christie being more moderate, the Republican Party needs much house cleaning before they will ever have a chance. They have successfully painted themselves into an extreme corner. The American public views the party as a most extreme narrow minded group. Few Americans actually fit into the GOP's model of what the "average American" is. Sure, there are some very vocal GOPs, but loud does not necessarily mean better, right or a majority. People "fear" the GOP, because they know if the GOP gets into power, they will go after anyone who does not fit their model of the "average American"...... and that means all of us.