Washington (CNN) - In a potential preview of the next presidential election, a new national poll suggests Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie would be neck and neck if the 2016 contest were held today.
But a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates Clinton leading eight other possible Republican White House hopefuls in hypothetical general election matchups.
According to the poll, 48% of registered voters say they would support support Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, if he were the GOP nominee, with 46% saying they would back Clinton, the former secretary of state, U.S. senator, and first lady, if she captured the Democratic nomination. Christie's 2-point margin is within the survey's sampling error. The CNN poll is the third non-partisan, live operator national survey conducted this month to indicate a possible matchup between Clinton and Christie basically all tied up.
If she decides to run, Clinton would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. And Christie, fresh off his landslide re-election last month as New Jersey governor, is on top of the pack in recent polls of the race for the Republican nomination.
So what's the secret of Christie's strength against Clinton?
"He performs particularly well among independents, winning nearly six in 10 in that key group," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland siad. "He also wins a majority of suburbanites and older voters, something that no other GOP hopeful [that was] tested was able to do against Clinton."
"Christie doesn't win in the Northeast, although he does hold Clinton to a bare majority there, but he has a solid edge in the Midwest while playing Clinton to a draw in the South and West," Holland said.
Not surprisingly, the survey indicates a gender gap: Christie has a 14-point lead among men but loses women to Clinton by 10 points.
Clinton leads in other 2016 showdowns
The statistical tie between the Garden State governor and the former secretary of state is pretty remarkable compared to how Christie's potential GOP rivals do against Clinton in the CNN poll at this early stage of the game.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, loses to Clinton by eight percentage points. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky trails by 13 points. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, is down by 15 points.
And it doesn't get any better for the GOP from there.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who ran for the nomination in the last election, is down 17 points to Clinton; freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas trails by 18 points; Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rick Santorum, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate and former senator from Pennsylvania, are 19 points behind; and former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush faces a 21-point gap between himself and Clinton
One thing to remember: Surveys taken this early in a presidential cycle are often heavily influenced by name recognition.
"Keep in mind that polls taken so many years before an election have little or no predictive value," Holland said.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from December 16-19, with 950 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Who exactly did you poll? I think everyone knows Christie will more than likely not even get the nomination because he is too "liberal" for the republicans. They will end up nominating some far right extremist who thinks masturbation is a crime and caters to the wealthy religious extremists. Someone who is controlled by the tea baggers. Then they will lose by a landslide to whoever the democratic nomination is. Unless of course republicans achieve their ultimate goal of making sure they always win by rigging the election.
waste of time article and way too early in the presidential race process to be meaningful.
Its always refreshing to know who will be shoved down our throat this far in advance.
We have to listen to this already? Give it a two year rest!
""Keep in mind that polls taken so many years before an election have little or no predictive value," Holland said"
Why does CNN wait until the end of the article, to let us know there is no reason for us to read it?
All women in the United States should step up and vote for Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run, if not for another women, I think it is time for the women of this country, to realize that a woman would make a good president. Only a few of the men have, in fact a very few. Women can get along better than men. They work better for families and against war. They work for their families and ours and a clean house, and realize it is time to clean house and work for the citizens and our country, not the political party. This is not a ball game or any other game of sport. Its our families, friends, neighbors all over the country that we need to look after. That's the job that women have always had and are good at it.
So the early projection is that Hillary will be president in 2016? The thing to keep in mind is that the Tea Party peeps will never allow Christie to win the nomination. If he appeals to any moderate Democrats, he is clearly not conservative enough. Christie is probably the only one of the lot who has broad enough appeal to actually win.
Don't think we aren't going to scream the word "Benghazi" every day of your candidacy, Hillary. You will eventually have to explain why you left four Americans to die and then lied about it to the American people and to Congress.
I can think of several reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton but I can think of one reason to accept her presidency that overides the reservations: it simply does not matter anymore. Being a politician pretty much makes her as acceptable as any other.
Hillary would be a fool to run for president. I hope she does run for the sole purpose of losing. The Beganzi attack will hang like an albatross around her neck and pull her down to defeat. Like I had said before I would vote for the devil himself if the Republicans chose him to run for president. At least I know who I am dealing with and what policies he has, unlike any democrats may run.
Please tell me the country can not come up with better candidates than these two! Hillary Clinton is a corrupt liar who is lucky she is not in a Federal Penitentiary and Christie is way to liberal – New Jersey is a mess – and his health is a clear concern.
Surely this is not the best either side has to offer!
If the rino is the candidate, hillery will be the next president.
When will the establishment shot-callers realize most of the people will NOT vote for ideological squishy?
I can think of several reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton but I can think of one reason to accept her presidency that overrides the reservations: it simply does not matter anymore. Being a politician pretty much makes her as acceptable as any other.
wow a poll of 1000 people, he haw. real scientific!!!!
And as we know, nothing ever changes in the intervening fours years between elections. That's why Rudy Giuliani was the Republican nominee in 2008, and Herman Cain was the GOP nominee in 2012.
Oh, and it's also why Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee in 2008, for that matter.
The fact that this not only on CNN, but headline news? Get a grip, and stop with the neverending horse race obsession.
When that phone rang at 3:00 in the morning, Obama and Hillary put their pillows over their heads and 4 brave men died because of them. This is who should run for President? Total incompetent!!!
All the sheep will still continue to vote. Baaaaaa!
As usual, the left-wing media is trying to pick a left-leaning Republican who has zero chance of winning.
There is little in this world less meaningful than a poll like this taken just short of 3 years prior to the election.
While I voted for Christie in the last gubinatorial election I only did so because the Dems ran a sacrificial piñata for a candidate, and I couldn't bring myself to vote for paper mâché, especially with no candy inside but only mush. The Dems do this too frequently in local elections so in places where they should win they lose. The Governor is attractive to centrists in that he shows signs of life without being a total ideologue, only a partial one. Only time will tell whether his off centered eccentricities will alienate those who he's charmed in the center.
Once again the far left media wants to select our nominees for us and promotes two losers. No thank you. I will back, and so will tens of millions of other Americans, a solid fiscal and social conservative. It is well past time for real hope and change.
What a surprise – Clinton is popular with democrats, and Christie is popular with independents, but not so much with conservatives. Wait a year and a few months – then the polls will mean something. Right now they are silly at best.
I predict Hillary Clinton WILL BE the next President of the United States of America!!
Please do not respond to any of these threads. We need not be bombarded with a three year presidential campaign in order to feed the "news" machine. Thank you.