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.
Hogwash. Clinton will be a hands down winner.
Only those who are Republican, greedy, racist, misogynistic, ignorant and generally low lifes, will fear such a future.
Vote Paul Ryan 2016
Please don't let it be either of them
Put on your game face Hillary!!! The world awaits!!!
You forgot to mention in your disclaimers that polling 950 people across the nation is in no way, a representation of the nation's cross-section, so in essence, this survey isn't worth a damn! But, just for fun, i would choose Christie of Clinton any day of the week!
These stupid polls are totally meaningless THREE YEARS prior to an election. Waste of time for someone to write this drivel and a waste of server space used to host it.
Notice how Clinton's #'s go up when she's not knee-deep in politics? She ain't gonna make it.
tobygall: The democratic party is NOT the party manipulated by the Koch brothers, ALEC, Norquist etc. So I cannot understand your corruption comments.
As per your comment about the insurance companies making billions out of the ACA: unless you're a proponent of a single-payer system, I don't understand this comment either. The insurance companies gain some form the ACA (more enrollies) but lose some: no more medical underwriting.
imagine a repubs congress and a repub president. i wonder where the american people will be doing at that time, can we say the bush years of repubs congressional control, when they cut taxes, fought 2 wars on our credit card, and gutted mainstream america of our spending money. what happened after that, yes it was a mass exodus of american jobs to china and india. causing the second worst financial disaster the world have ever seen. the problem is when repubs takes over the presidentcy and congress, by that time the world would be a one economy world. can you imagine middleclass suburbanites competing with Chinese labor and spenders, who out numbers our spenders 4 to 1. America is in alot of doodoo, because the repubs will turn their heads from the people and tell them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, while they will be busy taking their jobs to china. can we say NAFTA 2.0.
I thought I might look at Christy after the last years performance. That was until I began to look at his actual positions which are clearly far right. I think as soon as campaigning began on a nationwide basis folks would see that he would be just more of the same.
The joke is Christy has been stumping all this time and Clinton has been largely silent. Once she starts campaigning she'll leave him in the dust and the Republicans don't like Christy anyway so they'll prop another conservative up against her. Expect a Clinton landslide so Republicans will end up licking their wounds for another 8 years while they find some one even MORE conservative to run.
@Paul Barf. Clinton pigs have had enough time feeding at the trough, with absolutely nothing of substance or value to show for it.
You think Obama is bad? home Christie does not get the presidency.
The banksters have anointed their two puppet choices. Now it's time for the zombies to play the democracy charade.
The comparison of the number of families affected by Benghazi 4 to the 4000 dead and hundreds of thousands with life-long injuries because of GOP's continued lies about non-existent WMDs just to score no bid contracts in Iraq for Cheney will decide the election.
2 new puppets anointed to star in the next round of Demoracy Charade.
Corporate Owned News (CON) is delusional to think that these two bottom-feeders on the chain of humanity are the best out there. And they must think us too stupid to take seriously.
Two years ahead or not, this does show that the country does not want another Bush in office. And look at Mr Perry and Cruz, no one from Texas need apply either apparently. Huckabee thinking about it again? LOL
I believe it's still only 2013, why in the hell are people already talking about 2016??? Please, we really don't want to have to put up with this nonsense again for the next 2 years or more!
The media is bound and determined to elect the 2016 President, in 2013! I seriously doubt Chris Christie would ever be tied with Hillary Clinton, now or in the future! She is far, far, ahead of ANY person that might decide to run in the race! Like it or not, I believe it is going to be pretty difficult for ANY Republican to beat Hillary Clinton!, IF she decides to run! I have to wonder how much money media outlets pay people to "predict" elections.
Four brave men were fighting for their lives, begging for help for over 8 hours. Hillary, Obama lied, did nothing. The men died, found lying upon their weapons.
It's neck and neck 'now' when late night and popular America gets behind Hillary and starts making fun of Christie there it goes! wide open! Though I would like to see Christie serve a slice of humble pie to republicans...
No, the media WILL NOT pick our candidate this time.
I voted for her husband twice, I thought he was a good, unifying president. Not like the divider we have today. Until Benghazi, I would have supported her but the inaction, the lies and coverups, those will never go away. People try to play it down as old news. It is not. Those four Americans were betrayed and died due to her and her boss's inactions and that will NEVER just 'go away'!
Christy has shown he can reach across party lines to make good things happen and is very direct in his approach of issues, I'm tired of all the glad-handing, lying and Political correctness. Time for a change.
Christie: actually run a state government and get things done with a legislature controlled by his opposition.
Ms Clinton: a senator who passed no bills and a SecState whose biggest accomplishment was visiting 112 countries on the taxpayer dime (the people of the Cook Islands were thrilled to see her). Managed the State Dept during the Benghazi attack and its aftermath and managed to not spend more money on security in the compound while spending $1 million for a sculpture for the embassy in London and then managed to keep a straight face for a week after the attack as she lied about what had actually happened there.