A Quinnipiac University poll gaming potential matchups in the 2016 presidential election shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — but Christie has gained since March and enjoys wider popularity than Clinton.
The poll released Friday shows Clinton ahead of Christie 46 percent to 40 percent, a gain by Christie since the 45 percent to 37 percent split in March.
Clinton registered a 55-38 percent favorability rating, while Christie enjoys 45-18 percent favorability — including 41-19 percent among Democrats.
“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner for 2016 if she chooses to run,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “But New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie’s favorability numbers are impressive and if he can win over a solid share of those who do not yet have an opinion about him, he could be a very formidable candidate in 2016. Candidates with more than 2-1 favorability ratios don’t grow on trees.”
“Vice President Joseph Biden finds himself in the opposite situation as most Americans have an opinion about him and it is slightly negative, 38 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable,” Brown added.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) currently has a split favorability rating at 31-28 percent and ties with Biden at 42 percent in a hypothetical matchup.
Christie leads Biden 46-35 percent while Clinton leads Paul 50-38 percent.
On a range of current affairs, the poll found:
- “54 percent of voters favor allowing those here illegally to stay and eventually become citizens, while 12 percent favor allowing them to stay but not become citizens and 28 percent say they should be deported.”
- “Voters support 49 – 44 percent legalizing same-sex marriage in their state, and agree 62 – 34 percent with a Supreme Court ruling that married gay couples should be eligible for the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.”
- “Voters say 74 – 21 percent that public universities should not be allowed to take race into account when deciding who to admit.”