November 29th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
5 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. kalzy

    I would vote for him over Biden or Clinton. I'm a two time Obama voter who is proud of those votes. I just think he would do a hell of a job. S.F liberal here.

    November 29, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Kinard

    Too bad. He'll be beaten in the general election, but not because he's not a good candidate. The biggest problem with any and all republican hopefuls is the party itself. People (the real people), are sick and tired of the republican parties inability to recognize that the nation comes first, and politics should not play a role in good governance. Do whats right for the people, not yourselves.

    November 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. the reality is

    when they actually look at his RECORD in NJ, it will tell a far different tale. Millions in tax breaks given for projects like Xanadu which is a giant eyesore that no one is working on anymore, cuts to education causing some of our best teachers in the state to leave (happened in my son's school), essential services slashed, tax cuts for the rich all while being probably one of the most unlikable guys when confronted and questioned on anything.

    If this is who they want, good luck with that in 2016

    November 29, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. the reality is

    Oh and did I mention one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire country during his tenure.

    November 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Snoop

    Americans learned their lesson with Obama. There will be no more non-moderate presidents on either side.

    November 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. rl

    Well, Kenmann, who are you going to pick? Although I don't agree with a lot of Christies politics, and am a former NJ resident with family still there, he is the only one that this registered Democrat could support and call my President (yes I know you guys didn't do that with President Obama, but I guess racism is difficult to break away from). Christie has shown he can and will embrace and work with the other side and really doesn't care what the rest of your party thinks. The tea bag party is done, they may partly stay for another term or so, but only because of gerrymandering, and your party is like the Democrats of pre-Clinton. They have no one.

    November 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Patrish

    While not the perfect candidate, he's an improvement over the last batch that tried to run for President. At least he has a brain, and is blunt – not much of a diplomat though.

    November 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. gman

    To many haters, I look at the record not his weight and it shows- look up the record of NJ before he was elected-
    taxs down- budget under control- the last gov ran the state under- You might not like that he is stright up and tells it like
    it is- but i rather have someone in office that will tell people off than do favors...

    November 29, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. sam

    Here's the problem with CHristie...while he might lean more centrist than other potential candidates he does NOT consider the points of view of those who disagree with him. It's his way or the highway. This is not the position of an elected leader, it is the position of a dictatorial despot. As long as people continue to put these people in office you are going to get the same old results.

    November 29, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Straight shooter

    Shootin' Straight: If Republicans want to win the White House, they'll make nice with Christie, because he's your ONLY shot. Rand Paul is nuts, and if the ultimate goal is to win the WH, you'll need moderates and dissatisfied Dems to jump the fence, and they won't do that with Paul at the top of the ticket. Otherwise, continue to bury your heads in the sand, and get ready for President Biden....

    November 29, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    The only thing Christie does more than other Republicans is openly bully people and yell a lot. He got a lot of press for being visible with the victims of Sandy. However, very little of the damage has been repaired and people still have piles of rubble for homes. Being louder does not make you more qualified. Doesn't bode too well in foreign policy situations. As someone else stated, most Republicans hate Christie because he actually touched the President when the President came to NJ to see the damage and bring FEMA aid in instantly.
    Hillary is the far better candidate. She has vast experience in politics, in people-focused work to actually help people, and was a brilliant Secretary of State. She has both the domestic and foreign affairs experience to handle the job. She is not owned by corporations nor thinks they are "people" as our corrupt Supreme Court. She is an excellent leader and will call out the ignorance of the TP and explain reality to them. Party aside, Hillary is the best person for the job!

    November 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. southerngent

    Liberal media, what can we do to keep people from talking about obamacare? Oh I know lets do a poll about christie and biden.

    To force all Americans into a program designed to share wealth and under a threat of penalty and possible jail time is wrong.

    November 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Joe Biden

    Christie would actually be a leader unlike this partisan failure Obama who can't get two sides to work together. It is like comparing Patton to Beatle Bailey.

    November 29, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Anne

    If this is the best the Republicans have to offer...God Help Us!!!

    November 29, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Independent Voter

    Rubio 2016! Marco, is the only Republican that can beat Hillary!

    November 29, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Scott

    Chris Christie and Jeb Bush are my two favorites on the Republican side. If someone else is selected, I will vote for the Democrats for sure. I don't care for the more extreme views within the Republican Party since they are a reactionary force bent on tearing the country apart. The recent vote for a selective default on the national debt is what caused me to come to this conclusion. I also find much of the opposition to the ACA to be a joke. Forcing health care insurance on the masses is not much different than auto insurance. Further reforms are necessary such as fixing medical malpractice laws to be reasonable.

    November 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Brian Macker

    Oh, F I'm not voting for this A hole. We need someone who is going to stop the spending. This guy can't stop shoving food in his maw. I'd rather have a Democrat soend us into bankrupcy. At least then I can mock Democrats.

    November 29, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. southerngent

    Hillary will beat Hillary. Come on people, this is olny a distraction to obamacare.

    November 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. Badgerbyte

    CNN Republican Poll, huh? LOL ooookay. I think the poster kalzy sums you up Mr. Christie nicely and your gonna need a lot of kalzy's.

    November 29, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. S. Dabby

    I am a Democrat who occasionally votes for Republicans. I would consider voting for Christie.
    However, in the current political climate, he is most likely to be nominated for President if he switches parties and becomes the Democratic nominee.

    November 29, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    That will last until the skecletons start falling out of the closet. He is another Rick Perry, with more brains but the same uncouth contempt for people. An idol with feet of clay.

    November 29, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. MarcNJ

    As has been said before, bears repeating. As an Independent who lives in NJ, Christie did a heII of a job with making himself look good after hurricane Sandy. But the reality is that his record tells the truth. He has given more tax breaks to big business and yet has done nothing to help lower property taxes for middle income families. We still have one of the worst unemployment rates in the country. NJ was one of the only states not to adopt the new minimum wage, and yet NJ has one of the highest cost of living rates in the country. He cancelled construction of a new train tunnel into NYC, which had already begun, putting many people out of work, keeps the flow of of commuters chocked off, and since the Federal government was matching the funding for the project, they demanded NJ pay that money back, which Christie has refused. There is more, and if you want to, hunt, you'll find the record.
    If I had to choose a GOP candidate, I would vote for Christie, simply because he's not as bat-sh!t as any of the teabackers. But I will most likely vote for the Dems in 2016. But ffs, that's 3 years from now, why the heII are we already talking about that?!

    November 29, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Dem Slow

    Sorry Mainstream Media and Progressives/Socialists, you are not picking the next GOP candidate for President with Faux polling. Chris Christie is an Obama cohort, along with being a Liberal masquerading as RINO.

    Your CC has been canceled!

    November 29, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. ThomasE

    Two words. RI NO. He is in no way shape or form a real republican much less a conservative one. We don't need more sell outs and hypocrite politicians.

    November 29, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Linda

    Hopefully this poll won't weigh in as true for Christie in 2016 or any wretched idealogue GOP candidate.

    November 29, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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