December 26th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
8 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. Greg

    I wouldn't vote for either of these two. Luckily there's plenty of time before 2016 so we can get some real candidates.

    December 26, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Paul

    Clinton has "experience" over Christie in just about all areas. Hands down she would be a better president, plus we get "bubba" and his experience and popularity for good measure.

    December 26, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. tobygall

    The whole Democratic party is so corrupt at this point they all need to be ran out of town. Very few good Democrats anymore and certainly not the party of my father or grandfather. Guess who is making billions off the taxpayer...Democratic unions and buddies and the Democrats are feeding paybacks to big business. They say one thing but do the opposite. Health insurance companies are going to make billions of dollars thanks to the Democrats.

    December 26, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, dear. GOPerville get a grip on yourselves. The election is two years out and you folks are already playing your cards for all to see. Reminds me of 2012 and the lead up to the Mitt Romney landslide (that never happened).

    December 26, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. ermentrude

    Either would be fine with me, as long as Clinton didn't tack too far left, or Christie too far right.

    December 26, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. tobygal

    Can you say Bengazi????

    December 26, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Carol

    I know many women of all age groups that are Independents, and Republicans that will not vote for Clinton.

    December 26, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Once again CNN cannot just report the news. They invent it.

    December 26, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. J-Man

    Why on earth would anyone vote for Clinton. We know she lied about Benghazi. Remember those commercials she had during the last campaign where the was a phone ringing and the announcer asked who you wanted to answer the phone? Well with Benghazi, Clinton's phone rang and she said, let the embassy people die. She then made up a lie about a protest and fed it to the world through her paid liar, Susan Rice. It is a fact that we had troops that could have saved the embassy personnel. Multiple sources have said they were told to stand down. Would you like to be at an American Embassy if she was president?

    December 26, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    @tobygal
    Can you say Bengazi????
    I can say Big Foot and UFO too.

    December 26, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. james

    how anyone could vote republican is beyond me...

    December 26, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. conoclast

    Er, aren't we getting a wee bit ahead of ourselves here? I'm reminded of college football's Heisman Trophy race: the early odds-on favorite invariably ends up an also-ran by season's end. Given the pace of change we're experiencing who can dare make predictions?

    Besides, instead of compulsively fixating on changing the government why not just let it function for a while?

    December 26, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Ben

    Christy is a flaming liberal!

    December 26, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. bytes

    It's not even 2014. Can we please cover the election of 2016 in... 2016.

    December 26, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Slowdownson

    Christie is a good candidate, but he has a terrible temper; he would never make it through such a long election cycle. Hillary is also a good candidate, but has a very hard time being sincere; she isn't able to deflect attacks with personal charisma, which is almost necessary at the presidential level. Note by "good" I mean in a political sense - who's more likely to win, rather than who would make a better president.

    December 26, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. karek40

    Interesting, a liberal democrat and a very liberal republican and its to close to call. Is it possible the reason its so close is there is no difference. No Choice

    December 26, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. LI_Bri

    I would rather no President.

    December 26, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Bill

    Great. Another contest were the voters get to chose between the lesser of two evils.

    December 26, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Ralph

    I'm sorry but as a veteran I could never feel comfortable voting for Hilary Clinton. Why? Benghazi ... everything that we have access to speaks of an office that left our foreign service people to die in Benghazi ... the family, the doctor who tried to save him, professional military personnel ... and if true, that lack of commitment is unforgiveable

    December 26, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "I seem to remember that within a month of Obama's second inauguration CNN was speculating on who would be the 2016 GOP nominee."

    Yeah, a month BEFORE his inauguration. More like the day after the November election, but close enough.

    December 26, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "We know she lied about Benghazi."

    Where's your proof? The same place they're hiding Obama's real long form birth certificate or all the proof that would convict all the indefinite detainees in Gitmo...maybe in Hoffa's unmarked grave or under the trailer Elvis has been living in near Area 51 for the past few decades? Dead-end kangaroo hearings proved nothing but that the GOP/Teatrolls thought they had and have something with which to belittle her in 2016.

    December 26, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. cbp

    Is there anyone out there who cares about 2016 right now? CNN and others need to stop polling and leave us all alone. Find another topic.

    December 26, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    If CNN starts this stuff now they can take me out of their audience...Blitz that !!!

    December 26, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. jamie

    Don't care what the situation is .........NO CLINTON PERIOD

    December 26, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. RonL

    CNN... you really need to understand MOST of us are REALLY more interested in what will happen in the next 90 days tan who will be the President in 2016. PLEASE do us all a HUGE favor, don't talk about the NEXT President until September of 2014. The polls at this point are meaningless.

    December 26, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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