November 29th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 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. ThomasE

    I'm with you independent voter. It's either Rubio, Paul or Cruz. Everone else..go please your lobbypacs.

    November 29, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Elucidated1

    It's going to be fun to watch the 2016 GOP primaries. Anyone who thinks that Chrstie is going to steamroll/bully his way to the nomination is blowing smoke. Do you really think that Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul are going to sit back and let Christie run away with this? Do you realize that the southern states will be going all in for Ted Cruz? In 2012 they voted for Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Newt, and Santorum for goodness sakes.

    November 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. W.G.

    I hope he does run , that fat ball of Crisco would finally be exposed for the lying cheat
    he his . He´s cruel he yells at teachers trying to find funds to help her kids . This over bearing
    ball of calories doesn´t care about his citizens why are so many STILL suffering from Sandy
    homeless scared and broke . He should be impeached as Gov. . What really irkes me is how
    easily swayed democrats are by this far right zombie but then again we are talking about N.Jersey .

    November 29, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. lolobama

    I'm Libertarian so it would be hard for me to choose between the two. Hillary is economically moderate and socially liberal, Christie is economically conservative and socially moderate. Hillary seems to me to be a bit grating and moody but she is experienced and knows politics. Christie seems to be pretty fair across the board, but I need to hear more from him to decide if he's the one I'd want to vote for. My head says vote Hillary but my heart is undecided or leaning towards Christie.

    November 29, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Stephen

    Farrakhan migh as well run. I'd vote for him before christie.

    November 29, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. chas

    The interesting part of the statistic is really telling. Number one, why is that anyone making under 50K a year support a non tea party republican ? It really speaks to the poor job the dems have done in getting their message out to the voters. Frankly anyone who thinks a republican administration is going to be good for folks on the lower end of the economic spectrum are making a big mistake.

    November 29, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. JakeF

    People like and dislike Chris Christie for the same reason. He tells it how it is, diplomacy be damned.

    I'd rather have a guy be honest with me even if I don't agree with his opinion than to BS me when he's running for office only to turn around and do the polar opposite once he's elected.

    /moderate stuck in the middle

    November 29, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Kenman

    rl...If you're a "registered Democrat" I don't think much of your opinion either, especially with your childish "teabag" references! And, if a groundswell of support called the Tea PARTY is done, then so is our nation, because this is probably the last chance we'll have to save ourselves from real bankruptcy as your party keeps promising the sky as their heads are in the clouds!

    That your party would support a do nothing, heartless opportunist like Hillary, means that you have lost your souls and would damn the nation just to put a "first woman" in the White House, as if THAT should be more important than the actual welfare of the nation!

    It is YOUR party that would sell our precious citizenship to those that came here ILLEGALLY, and exploited our foolishness, created new citizens with every child born here to an ILLEGAL, and that is a new "citizen" with a divided devotion, and one that has little to do with the long term welfare of the United States!

    I am conservative, and I am the first to say that we don't need anymore Clintons or Bushes, I'm tired of the political dynasties and I care more for my nation that to follow the ESTABLISHMENT'S dictating who THEY will accept as our candidates!

    We need a real shake-up, from the Representatives, through the Senate and all the way to the White House, AND THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE EITHER, so stop your name calling. It is great that America can elect a black man President, but we elected the wrong black man!

    November 29, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Yawn. Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats 2012 Mitt the twit style.

    November 29, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. sonkarlay

    How can the president work with republicans? From day one in office was republicans said they are going to make him one term president and they are still doing it even though he's running again, republicans say Obama is not an American so been black in America in a crime

    November 29, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. adsas

    Christie doesn't stand a chance in h e l l of getting out of the Iowa primary or New Hampshire. He'll be seen by the GOP the same EXACT way Rudy Guiliani was. Any moderate republican from the northeast is NEVER getting elected president.

    November 29, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Christie is too moderate to win the GOP primary. Even though he is the only candidate to have a chance against Clinton, the hard liners will nominate some brain dead far-right winger.

    November 29, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. crimsoninok

    The GOP had several front runners in the last election.. Conservatives will regain their senses and toss this moderate on the heap. Obama should be the lesson for this country that a lack of experience is a BAD thing. Rubio/Cruz I like them the best.

    November 29, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Lewy

    To be a contender, he needs to slim down to a svelte 165.

    November 29, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. dave

    Hillary will not get the DNC nomination. I doubt she will end up running, but even if she tries, she is OLD, WHITE, NO new ideas, tons of baggage, and has nothing to bring to the Party of then Bill and being a female. That just is not enough for the 2016 election.

    November 29, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Brenden

    I am a two time Obama voter and a life long Massachusetts resident (hard to get anymore liberal than that) and I love this guy. I would vote for him in a heart beat and I really don't think he's the type that would be bullied by the extremists in his party into taking on a divisive right wing agenda. What would be even better is if the crazies in the republican party broke off into their own "tea party" and then excellent candidates like Christie wouldn't be tainted by these right wing lunatics. You would probably see a lot of blue states turn purple.

    November 29, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. oboy

    The Democratic party is simply not producing a variety of interesting candidates, yet again. Hilary Clinton will never win a general election, partly because she is dull to listen to. I want a small flood of people from outside of politics to run for the Democratic party presidential nomination, because the vast majority of highly capable people in America are not presently working in politics. 300 million people in the USA, versus about 650 in politics (senators, governors etc), so we can all do the math. Do not fall for the claim that a senator knows a lot more about how to be a president that an smart private sector person.

    November 29, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. texasnotea

    Bra,ha,ha ha.ha.ha.ha.ha,ha, ha,ahh! The gop is so lame, the question Americans will ask is " who to you trust the most when that 3am call comes in"? The only republican candidate who stands a chance in hell is Christie because you can't trust Cruz or any of the others to even be in the same room with the red button! And that's a fact! If you think otherwise you are in deep denial,

    November 29, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Bill

    Christie or Bush gets my vote, no other Republican will get it. If the Republicans follow the right wing course they would lose
    again.

    November 29, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. VJ

    Main stream media already decided for 2016!! it is Chris Christie VS Hillary Clinton... That is why we are seeing this. Actually I like Warren/Grayson, Bernie Sanders/Warren, Bernie Sanders/Grayson Vs either Rand Paul/? or Ted Cruz/Rubio. These people are out of establishment candidates.. I like non establishment candidates to win an election and serve for the people of this great nation.

    November 29, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Wendell Coleman

    The biggest problem facing Christie (other than his girth) is that he will need to get off to a super fast start in order to build up some momentum and a delegate cushion before some of the numerous conservative candidates in the Republican primary start to drop out and allow their delegates to latch on to another, more viable conservative candidate (which ain't Christie) and that is going to be hard to do when the first couple of primaries are in Iowa (which Christie may skip altogether) and equally conservative South Carolina. The only thing making Christie look viable right now is the fact that there are multiple conservative candidates in these polls that are slicing up the "conservative pie" into small slices. Should some of these conservative potential candidates chose not to run or only last for a couple of weeks and their followers start to coalesce around one or two conservative guys, they will shoot past Christie like a bullet and his (Christie) momentum and financial support will dissipate faster than a fart in a hurricane.

    November 29, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Loe

    Polls this early are meaningless. Christie and Clinton both have zero chance of ever getting elected

    November 29, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. bilk7

    I doubt any Republican would win the White House in 2016 but Christie would have the best shot of any of them against Clnton in a general election. His problem would be getting the GOP nomination.

    November 29, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. rs

    The GOP would be smart to run him- he's sane and has a following. If they don't get their radical TEA Party fringe under control however, it will be a bruising 3-year run with every Republican nit job displaying their crazed ideas of what America should look like to them, and they'll wind up with another losing candidate.

    Just saying'- the GOP needs to get serious again if they want to win on the national stage. No more anti-government tantrums, they have to stop taking away civil rights and women's rights and voters rights. Basically, they need their brains and their morality back.

    November 29, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Chadrock

    Hope both Christie and Clinton win their nominations at this point. It's been a long time since there would be two candidates from the two major political parties that I think are both presidential and reasonable choices for me.

    November 29, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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