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.
If there is absolutely no predictive power to these polls, then it's a complete waste of time? Give it up.
Two people are deadlocked in a race that neither has official announce running in that is 3 years away. Must be a horridly slow day for someone.
The media establishment is getting a head start on choosing our next president. Perhaps they could make our lack of choice a little less obvious. You think.....?
Either candidate would be a lose-lose situation for the Tea Party.
what a waste of space and time. CNN=creative news network.. .when there's nothing to report, make something up by running useless polls.
The primary would be most interesting if Hillary tries to justify her qualifications for the job.
What HAS she accomplished?
A liberal and an ultra-liberal running for President.
The illusion of choice.
"Keep in mind that polls taken so many years before an election have little or no predictive value," Holland said
Then why is this breaking news????
Why this should be a breaking news ????!!
"Keep in mind that polls taken so many years before an election have little or no predictive value,"
MSM Rosetta Stone says: "This information has no value but it causes a ruckus so we're going to publish it anyway and pretend we're providing valuable information."
Have we not had enough of the Clinton dynasty already? We need some new blood.
Bad news, CNN. This isn't even close to Breaking News. You just broke it. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
neither one is the answer and apparently the media is taking sides with the old file picture of Christie. Another fair and balanced election from the media view point and sheeples.
Mitt Robme was leading by +5% point in the last Gallup polls before the election and guess how much fun it was that Mitt' d 'twit was defeated in an electoral ladnslide...that's a conservative leading in the polls!!! LOL
Hillary may or may not run. Christie won't even get the R nomination.
So much for this poll...
Christie's economic policy is going to resonate very well with the American people. If he can articulate it better than Romney he's going to be an outstanding candidate.
America continues to elect idiots to lead.
First tighten immigration, too many illegals from India in New Jersey. It is hurting. Deport all illegals, H1-B visa overstays, violators.
I see both as probable candidates, but don't see Christie as a Presidential figure yet. I think he has some work to do before he really can be seen in this position. I can see him as a Vice President, but not a president yet unless he gets to the issues and becomes loud with his approach.
Clinton has done a great job of distancing herself from Obama, which is going to be crucial for her going forward. However, by the time the next President is elected America is going to be very tired of progressive government, so she will have struggle. But, since the GOP has a habit of shooting itself in the foot trying to appeal to everyone, and standing for nothing she may make it.
no chance for GOP. when it times, she will pull it off.
Hillary will win. More women vote than men, Hispanards vote in droves. There is no way she would lose.
Don't care for either one of them. I wish Michelle would run. But one thing is for sure, I'm making good on a promise to leave this nation if the queen of mean, butcher of mena, Hanoy Helga wins. I have purchased and received the Schengen visa, transferred all my checking, savings, and retirement accounts to an international bank, and have opened a lockbox account for my social security to automatically deposit then transfer out to the intl bank account.
I guess it's never too early....
Great...another "hold your nose and vote" moment. I'm staying home if these two are the only choices.