12/17/2013 01:54 pm ET Updated Dec 17, 2013

Iowans Favor Chris Christie Over Hillary Clinton, Poll Shows

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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