Hillary Clinton still leads the pack of potential 2016 presidential candidates, but a new poll shows New jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie would whittle her lead down to just 3 percentage points.
Sixty-three percent of Democratic respondents in the new Public Policy Polling survey throw their support behind Clinton; Vice President Biden is second with 13 percent.
The top four Republican contenders basically are neck-and-neck.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leads with 16 percent; Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are dead-even with 15 percent; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has 14 percent.
Clinton leads Paul and Rubio by 10 points each, but Christie takes 44 percent support to her 47 percent support, thanks in large part to his strong appeal with independents.
The poll shows Christie garnering more independents than Clinton does.
The polling was conducted when Congress increased its scrutiny of the Obama administration's handling of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Many Republicans see Benghazi as Clinton's Achilles heel, but Dean Debnam, president of PPP, said the poll showed that scrutiny hadn't yet affected her 2016 chances.
"Benghazi isn’t having much impact on Hillary Clinton’s viability in a potential 2016 campaign," Debnam said.
“She continues to lead the Democratic field and the top Republican candidate possibilities."
The survey was conducted among 1,099 registered voters from May 6-9, and has a 3 point margin of error for the overall survey, 4 points for the Democratic portion and 3.5 points for the Republican portion.
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