Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical presidential matchup, beating her by 3 points, 45 percent to 42 percent, a Public Policy Polling survey
released Wednesday showed.
Christie — who notched a formidable 49 percent to 26 percent advantage with independent voters in the potential race — also trounced, by double digits, four other possible Democratic candidates, say the Democrat-leaning pollsters
Christie's showing comes just a day after a Quinnipiac poll
showed him beating Clinton in battleground state Iowa, where he polled 45 percent to the former first lady's 40 percent — and commentators said it was reason for Clinton backers to worry.
"I think this poll is something for Hillary Clinton partisans to worry about," The Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky
said. He noted polls in other battleground states have also shown that Christie would be a competitive candidate for president in 2016.
It's a "paradox" that polls show Clinton as the "most admired" woman in America but also have her losing to Christie in a general election, Tomasky said. He noted that Clinton's standing with independent voters in Iowa could be a problem for her.
The Root columnist Cory Dade agreed.
"I think, between the two parties, [. . .] the Democrats should be a little bit more worried about the fact that they are trailing, or at least Hillary was trailing, by 9 percentage points in this poll [of independent voters]," he said.
"I think it's a reverberation from the Republicans' continued attacks on Obamacare in particular," Dade said on MSNBC
In a matchup with other possible Democratic contenders, Christie had a sizable advantage over Secretary of State John Kerry, 46 percent to 35 percent; Vice President Joe Biden, 49 percent to 35 percent; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 49 percent to 33 percent; and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, 51 percent to 29 percent, the survey showed.
"Christie's the strongest candidate for president right now because he's viewed favorably across party lines," the pollsters said.
The survey showed Christie polled 48 percent to 26 percent with Republicans; 46 percent to 28 percent with independents; and 38 percent to 36 percent with Democrats.
"Clinton would start out ahead of all the other potential GOP candidates we tested against her on this poll," the pollsters said, reporting she had 48 percent to both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 43 percent; had 48 percent to Mike Huckabee's 42 percent; and polled 49 percent to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's 41 percent.
Among potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates, Christie leads the pack, with 19 percent; Cruz has 14 percent; Huckabee, 13 percent; Paul, 11 percent; Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 10 percent each; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 7 percent; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 4 percent; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, 3 percent.
Though Huckabee pulled the highest favorability of the Republicans, with 65 percent having a good view of him compared with 14 percent who had an unfavorable view, the poll found that only 20 percent of those with a positive opinion said he'd be their first choice for president.
Christie has a 47 percent to 29 percent favorability rating, but 37 percent of those with a good view also support him for president, the poll showed.
The poll was taken Dec. 12-15, and has margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
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