December 26th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
12 months ago

2016 CNN Poll: Clinton deadlocked with Christie but leads other GOP presidential possibilities

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
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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.


Filed under: 2016 • CNN/ORC International poll
soundoff (462 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    Can CNN, and ALL other media outlets, just stop with distant future "hypothetical polls". The next presidential election is still almost three years away. Neither Christie or Clinton are their parties candidate...in fact neither has even announced they will run! And this poll is "Breaking News". Journalism is dead in America.

    December 26, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I used to be a proud Republican, but after this year, absolutely no more! #ReadyForHilary

    December 26, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. are122

    Well, as a lawyer Hillary was too dumb to pass the DC bar exam. She hasn't really done anything right including her own health care joke, sec of State failure and lies about once being shot at. But she was on the Walmart board of directors, likes money and gives all the $200,00.00 speeches she can...so she is the best Republican the Democrats have.

    December 26, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Evervigilant

    So tired of this constant campaigning, and coverage. Give it a rest CNN and wait until it actually matters.

    December 26, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Steve, New York City

    While I think that there are "some" decent people in both parties, I have never been a Hillary fan. Also noteworthy that the United States had two decades in which POTUS was either Bush or Clinton.

    If it came down to Clinton vs. Christie,

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Joseph

    Wonder if Rand Paul runs the media and along with the GOP will knife him in the back like they did his dad because he wasn't in sync with the MIC and the FED's monetary policies

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. arsh

    "Keep in mind that polls taken so many years before an election have little or no predictive value," Holland said.

    Oh you' don't say because I could have already told you I hate both of these people.

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. blakenaustin

    Two losers. Clinton is an abrasive version of Obama. Far left, compulsive liar with no meaningful accomplishments. And Christie is a overweight version of McCain. An angry, abrasive RINO. Neither of them are likable, fiscally responsible, or presidential material. What is wrong with the American people? No common sense. No good judgment. Naive fools, easily manipulated by the clueless media.

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Steve, New York City

    While I think that there are "some" decent people in both parties, I have never been a Hillary fan. Also noteworthy that the United States had two decades in which POTUS was either Bush or Clinton.

    If it came down to Clinton vs. Christie, I would definitely pick Christie – though I worry that elements of the electorate might use his obesity as limiting his ability to handle the job's extreme stress.

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. betterdays

    Unfortunately, I thought Romney was much more presidential than Christie will ever be. But I'll take what I can get at this point.

    December 26, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Realistic

    Neck and neck? More like chin and chin- neither one of these men has much of a neck. But, "at this point, what does it really matter?"

    December 26, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. daze zee

    Cinton ought to be in prison, yet liberals love her. It just goes to show the true nature of the liberal camp.

    December 26, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. ora pike

    susan rice speaking for clinton "IT WAS THE VIDEO" and about the deaths of american troops in Bengazi "FALSE CONTROVERSY". don't think hillary would lie as much as obama but..................where was hillary when the Bengazi killings went down-we know about obama who hid in the WH and had susan rice rep. obama/clinton with "IT WAS A VIDEO".

    December 26, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. kathytapia

    breaking news?

    December 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Captjoe

    They're both anti gun. Can we please have a candidate who's pro legalization of cannabis, marriage for all and second amendment rights? I'm so sick of this country. I hate republicans and I hate democrats. Yet they apprently own the United States and nobody else has a shot.

    December 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. dubrats

    YIKES!!!!!

    December 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. anonymous

    Hillary isn't going to run in 2016. Obamacare would take her down. Americans won't vote for somebody that refuses to repeal it. Sorry Dems, that is just the way it is.

    December 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    This guy never wins. What experience did he have? Lee bridge shut down? Government shut Down bt GOP thugs? Or NJ deficit? Yes, Hillary16.
    PS: first US women president in history after Black president.

    December 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Tom

    Right. And remember Clinton and Rudy Giuliani were neck and neck back in 2008. Neither won their party's nomination. Polls like this are just stupid two years ahead of an election.

    December 26, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Bill

    This is NOT 'breaking news'. The election isn't for THREE more years, and neither individual has announced their candidacy.

    December 26, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. tom

    Its no surprise they are tied. I bet most people don't feel excited about either one of them, MYSELF INCLUDED!!!

    What has either one of them done to prove they can lead us out of this mess?

    December 26, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Randy, San Francisco

    This dream royal rumble match will never happen. Tea Partiers and conservtive purists will never vote for Christie, the RINO. By the time the GOP rebrands itself, Christie will be too old to run for the presidency.

    December 26, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Devon

    These are our choices? America is screwed.

    December 26, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Charles

    Didn't we just have a Presidential Election in 2012? Media! give it a rest.

    December 26, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The presidency is Hers, if she wants it.

    December 26, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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