It was no big surprise that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was re-elected Tuesday, beating Democrat Barbara Buono in a runaway predicted in numerous polls.
But Election Day exit polls showed that if the 2016 presidential race were held today, he would lose to Democrat Hillary Clinton in his own state.
The New Jersey exit poll
, conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison Research, found that Christie to Clinton by 4 points, 48 percent to 44 percent.
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A CNN exit poll found a wider margin for Clinton in New Jersey. In a presidential contest
, 50 percent of New Jersey voters said they would support the former secretary of state over Christie, who drew 43 percent.
A bare majority of 51 percent of New Jersey voters surveyed said Christie would make a good president, and 16 percent who supported him Tuesday said they don’t see him as a good fit for the White House.
Christie also could be carrying the baggage of a party with less-than-favorable ratings into 2016.
Nearly four in 10, or 38 percent, of New Jersey voters said they have a favorable view of the GOP, significantly less than the majority of 51 percent who said they hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party.
The exit polling in New Jersey that favors Clinton reflects most nationwide polls. The most recent national survey conducted by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling
gave her a 5-point lead over Christie.
Neither has publicly stated his or her plans for 2016, but both are widely considered to be top contenders for their parties’ nominations.
Christie would face a tougher time getting there, though, than would Clinton.
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According to the most recent Public Policy Polling survey, if the GOP primaries were held today, Christie would be in dead heat with Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The survey found Christie and Paul each favored by 16 percent of respondents, while Cruz drew 15 percent and Bush 14 percent.
On the Democratic side, 67 percent of primary voters want Clinton to be the party’s nominee in 2016 compared to 12 percent for Vice President Joe Biden and 4 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The survey found no other potential candidates drawing more than 2 percent support.
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