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Image: Clinton Leads Christie in Possible 2016 Match-Up

Clinton Leads Christie in Possible 2016 Match-Up

By Melanie Batley   |   Friday, 12 Jul 2013 10:09 AM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in an early look at a possible 2016 presidential match-up between the two, a new poll has found.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday, Clinton leads Christie, 46 percent to 40 percent, among registered voters, a slightly narrower lead from the March poll that had the Democrat up 8 points over the Republican governor in a hypothetical contest.

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The poll of 2,014 registered voters nationwide also found that people have a more-favorable view of Clinton than Christie. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed view the former secretary and New York senator favorably, compared to 38 percent who have an unfavorable view of her.

Christie's approval rating among voters registered 10 points lower at 45 percent, but he can take some comfort from the fact that 41 percent of Democrats polled view him favorably while only 18 percent have a negative view of him.

"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner for 2016 if she chooses to run," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's favorability numbers are impressive, and if he can win over a solid share of those who do not yet have an opinion about him, he could be a very formidable candidate in 2016. Candidates with more than 2-1 favorability ratios don't grow on trees," he added.

The survey also found that while 54 percent of voters are in favor of immigration proposals that would provide a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally — a central element in the Senate's immigration-reform plan — 69 percent say the gridlock is so bad in Congress that Republicans and Democrats won't be able to pass an immigration reform bill.

As for the gridlock, 64 percent of survey respondents blamed both parties equally, but another 23 percent said Republicans were mostly responsible for Congress' inability to get anything done. Only 10 percent of respondents blamed the Democrats.

In further bad news for Republicans, 51 percent of voters said the gridlock is caused by the GOP's determination to block any initiative put forward by President Barack Obama. But 35 percent also said the president doesn't have the skills that are necessary to convince leaders of Congress to work together.

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Put another way, 53 percent said Obama is doing "too little" to compromise with congressional Republicans to break the gridlock, while 68 percent said Republicans are not doing enough to resolve the standoffs over so many important issues.

"Voters think the Democrats and Obama aren't playing nice," Brown said, "but they think the Republicans are worse."

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