Hillary Clinton (D) would defeat each of her potential 2016 Republican rivals in Ohio if the election were held today, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday.
According to the early survey of the 2016 battleground state, the former Secretary of State leads her closest rival, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), by 9 points. She tops all of the other GOP contenders by double digits.
The poll finds a steep drop in support for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). When Quinnipiac last polled Ohio in November, Clinton led Christie by only a point, 42 percent to 41 percent. She now leads the New Jersey Governor by 13 points, 49 percent to 36 percent.
Only 31 percent of Ohio voters think Christie would make a good president, while 48 percent say he would not. This is a reversal from the November poll, in which 44 percent thought he would make a good president and 32 percent thought he would not. Clinton draws the support of a majority of respondents on the question: 55 percent now say she would make a good president and 39 percent say she would not, a slight uptick from her showing in the November tally.
Christie’s fluctuating support is a reminder of just how early it is to be polling the 2016 election, considering that the contest has yet to begin in earnest. No major candidates from either party have yet announced their intentions to run, and the primaries are not for another two years. As HuffPollster recently pointed out, “the 2016 election is still a long way off, and the current results may bear little relationship to the actual contest that plays out two years from now.”
Clinton currently leads the rest of the field--which includes former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio)-- by an average of 14 points. She notches her best numbers against Cruz, 51-34.
Until recently, Christie was viewed as the Republican with the best chance of defeating Clinton in the general election. The drop in support for Christie may be traced to revelations that members of his administration colluded to close off lanes of the George Washington Bridge to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who declined to endorse Christie during the governor’s 2013 reelection bid. Christie’s decline in support in Ohio mirrors the findings of other polls, both in other states and nationwide.
The survey of 1,370 registered voters was conducted from February 12-17. It has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.