If the 2016 election were held today, Iowans would pick Republican Chris Christie over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday.

The New Jersey governor led the former Secretary of State in the poll 45-40 percent. When Quinnipiac last polled Iowa voters in July, Christie and Clinton were tied at 41 percent.

In other hypothetical match-ups, Clinton would beat Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) by a single percentage point, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) by seven points and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) by seven points.

A separate poll by the Des Moines Register found that Iowans hold another potential presidential contender, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), in high esteem: He has a 73 percent approval rating from Republicans in the state. Eighty-nine percent of Iowa Democrats have a favorable opinion of Clinton.

Success in Iowa is crucial in presidential politics, as it both a swing state and the first state to hold a caucus or primary.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,617 Iowa voters by phone Dec. 10-15 and has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points. The Des Moines Register polled 650 eligible Iowa voters Dec. 8-11 and has a margin of error of 7.3 percent for Republicans and 8 percentage points for Democrats.

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  • Their wedding day on October 11, 1975

  • Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas,right, and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, chat with Mochtar Riady, chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Bank at a reception hosted by Riady, Oct. 7, 1985. Clinton is in Hong Kong for a three-day trade promotion tour. (AP Photo/Dick Fung)

  • Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary arrive for dinner at the White House Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 1986. (AP photo/Ron Edmonds)

  • Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton is joined by his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, left, on the day he announced his bid for the presidency in Little Rock, Arkansas on Nov. 3, 1991. Clinton denied on Friday reports of rumored extramarital affairs, saying the charges were “simply not true.” (AP Photo)

  • Then Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton hugs his wife Hillary at Clinton's election night party at the Merrimack Inn, in Merrimack, N.H. in this Feb. 18, 1992 file photo. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, File)

  • Hillary Clinton, right, embraces her husband, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, in Los Angeles Tuesday night after he secured enough delegates to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

  • Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary dance on stage during a "Get-Out-The-Vote" rally at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Sunday night, Nov. 1, 1992. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)

  • Democratic presidential nominee Gov. Bill Clinton gives his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, a kiss as she joined him at the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 16, 1992. She had just taped "The Home Show." (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

  • Arkansas Gov. and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign outside the Tampa Convention Center on Monday, March 9, 1992 on the eve of Super Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

  • Framed by a huge American flag, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton wave to supporters during a rally at a downtown Chicago hotel Tuesday, March 17, 1992. Clinton won both the Illinois and Michigan primaries. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)

  • Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Bill Clinton, of Arkansas, walks with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton after the couple voted at Dunbar Community Center in Little Rock, Ark., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

  • U.S. president-elect Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, hug each other during an appearance at the Old State House in Little Rock, Ark., following the presidential election victory, Tuesday night, Nov. 3, 1992. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

  • President-elect Clinton and his wife Hillary ride on the beach at Hilton Head Island, S.C. on Friday. They are on the island for vacation and Renaissance Weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) January 1993

  • President and Mrs. Clinton stand with South African President Nelson Mandela and his daughter, Zinzi Mandela Hlongwane, Tuesday night, Oct., 4, 1994 at the North Portico of the White House. The Clintons hosted a state dinner for Mandela. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)

  • President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton leave the Marine One helicopter for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Oct. 25, 1994. The president left for the Middle East to celebrate peace in the shadow of violence and pledged to use his high profile mission to salute the new Israeli-Jordanian pact. (AP Photo/Shayna Brennan)

  • President Clinton laughs at the sight of a staff member (not shown) wearing a Santa hat as he, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter Chelsea leave Foundary Methodist Church in Washington after attending services Sunday morning, Dec. 25, 1994. At rear is an unidentified Secret Service agent. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

  • President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at a dinner at the White House, Sunday night, Jan. 29, 1995. The former Arkansas governor was hosting the state executives Sunday night at an annual black-tie dinner for the National Governors' Association, a group he once headed. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

  • President and Mrs. Clinton laugh during the introductions of a concert Wednesday night, May 17, 1995 on the South Lawn at the White House. The concert was being taped for a PBS television series "In Performance at the White House" and will be aired this fall. The hour-long performance, featuring the women of country music, was hosted by Chet Atkins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)