Chris Christie vs. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016? A new NBC poll on that hypothetical matchup shows the former secretary of State would lead the New Jersey governor.
Clinton received 44% support from adults surveyed by NBC, while Christie would get 34%. As the TV network notes, the 2016 election is more than 1,000 days away — so this is a very early snapshot and probably the first of many we'll see since Christie's political future is being widely discussed after he cruised to a second term last week.
Christie said he is focused on his job as governor and a new role he'll take on in January as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Clinton has said she's thinking about running again but is adamant that a decision doesn't have to be made soon.
The NBC poll, however, shows the path to the GOP nomination for Christie won't be an easy one. While 32% of Republicans and people who lean to the GOP say they'd back Christie, another 31% say they would prefer another candidate.
AP NJ Governor
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visits with students at Jose Marti Freshman Academy in Union City, N.J., on Nov. 6, the day after winning his second term as governor.(Photo: Rich Schultz, AP)
As in other public opinion polls, Clinton is the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination. She's the choice of 66% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents in the NBC poll versus 14% who prefer someone else.
"Naming just Christie divides the faithful equally into Christie, Not Christie and Don't Know," said G. Evans Witt, CEO of Princeton Survey Research, which conducted the poll for NBC. "A third of the vote is not a bad showing in a party primary with (potentially) 10 candidates, but the first primary is more than two years away."