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.
The only thing these polls prove anymore is the entire electorate is made up of morons that watch CNN... I can think of nothing more imbecilic....
Interesting since neither one will probably even get their respective parties' nomination in 2016.
Clinton wins by a landslide...
This is like choosing 2 peas in a pod and CNN knows it.
whatever happen to my beloved cnn..Got to find another news site to follow...cnn tend to lean in favor of the GOP now...Must have a GOP president...Bye CNN
Hilary will continue to try and put this country in socialist state.
She is a commie. She KNEW darn well all about Benghazi and she has met her match with Christie who doesn't take crap from anyone. Go Christie.
These are the two choices...live with it. Your loon candidate will only be a distraction, and have got a snowball's chance....
to bad the right wing extremist will find Christi to liberal, fools lol
What you're leaving out of the equation is that if Christie is the GOP nominee against Clinton, there will be a third-party candidate from the right. So Clinton is a shoo-in.
Shall we also match John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani, or Oprah Winfrey and Sara Palin, or Anne Coulter and Rachel Maddow. The opposition always wants a weaker person to contest from other side. Actual contestants will be known much later in 2014. Primaries and then national conventions will be the final point of selection.
How many VOTES have been cast for the 2016 Presidential Election? So what are we talking about?
Clinton has to many bad things following her around, she is not to be trusted, she is the same as Obama, BAD. Christie is the kind of guy who wants to be on the side that is winning, not best side for the people.
I love how Americans think they live in a democracy. Yea, sure, you elect your own Presidents. You get two political parties to choose from, and their primaries are stuffed with candidates the political elite have pre-screened for you. This way you don't have to burden yourself with actually having any real choice.
The GOP are desperate, Christie is even a hard sell to them but then you look at what's left they're not worth a second look at. The teabaggers have screwdriver the GOP good when they followed Crux's COUP to overthrow the Government knowing damn well Obamacare was never going to be defended because it's law. Crux's COUP shutdown the Govt hurting the American people. If the GOP was smart they would sanction Cruz or charge him with an act of treason and send him back to Cuba, there is no place for a Castro Regime in this Country which Cruz learner well from his Daddy who was a former Castro follower but cut and ran from Cuba like cowards do. Americans don't cut and run we stay and fight until the battle is won.
When will the GOP offer a candidate who is not a white, male, millionaire? Until that happens, they will never get my vote.
Doesn't matter who becomes President anyway. The federal reserve is who has control over our country. The New World Order is becoming more of a reality everyday.
I would not vote for Chris Christie, but I could accept him as my President. He has the sense to work with others. He cares about the people that he governs. He tells it like it is. Last but not least he just drive Coulter and the Tea Bag party bonkers, probably at least as much as Sec. Clinton.
journalism 101 report events do not invent the reports! Please wait for 2016!
Christie would be a excellent choice. However, the article fails to mention that the Republican primaries are expected to be wild and unpredictable. Hillary on the other hand would not likely face much opposition. I think both Hillary and Christie will poll well with independent voters and that voters will find their records in office to be promising since both of them are better managers than Obama. They are practical whereas Obama is more of a day dreamer. I think it will be difficult for Christie. It is unclear who will survive the primaries, but I think his executive experience trumps many of the other potential candidates.
I certainly hope Hillary doesn't run for president-she's rude, arrogant, and seen to treat her staffers to 4 letter words. We don't need a brat like her in the White House! She isn't qualified for the job.
Madam President Hillary Clinton and First Man, President Bill Clinton. Two Presidents for the price of one
Neither are good to be Potus. Clinton was original inventor of Obama care when bill was potus. Christie talks big but did nothing for NJ taxes are the highest in North east.
I'd say posting those face shots is going to take them both down a notch.
Is this the best we can do? We are doomed...
Of the two, who will be the biggest loser?