Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) would be nearly tied if they were running against each other in the 2016 presidential race, a new CNN/ORC poll finds.
According to the survey, 48 percent of registered voters would back Christie, while 46 percent would vote for Clinton -- a difference that falls within the survey's margin of error.
Christie polled far better than any other potential GOP candidate included in the poll, largely because he was able to attract a majority of independents, suburban residents and older voters, according to CNN.
While polling on a potential race between Christie and Clinton showed her ahead earlier in the year, the results have tightened significantly since autumn. Christie edged out Clinton by 1 to 3 percentage points in three of the four polls testing the match-up this December, while Clinton was ahead by 1 point in the fourth.
HuffPost Pollster's average, combining all publicly available polling, gives Christie 45 percent to Clinton's 43 percent.
Clinton led handily against the other Republicans in CNN's poll, beating former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 21 points, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) by 19 points, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) by 18 points, Texas Gov. Rick Perry by 17 points, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee by 15 points, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) by 13 points, and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) by 8 points.
As CNN pollster Keating Holland notes, surveys taken this early in the election cycle rarely predict the winners and the results often have as much to do with which politicians are better known as anything else.
The CNN/ORC poll surveyed 950 voters between Dec. 16 and Dec. 19.
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