A 2016 presidential poll suggests that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) are the ones to beat.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey, Christie edges two fellow Republicans, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Christie would also defeat two prominent Democratic candidates, Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the poll showed.
But in a head-to-head battle with Hillary Clinton – the clear Democratic frontrunner if she runs – Christie would lose by approximately eight points.
Although some Republicans don’t think Christie is conservative enough for their taste, he currently polls best of the GOP candidates tested nationally.
Sen. Rand Paul, son of former candidate Ron Paul and another potential 2016 candidate on the Republican side, was not considered in this survey.
Chris Christie, who is running for re-election this year in New Jersey, has flustered the conservative wing of his party at times by working with President Obama.
His efforts to court liberals and independents bolster his crossover appeal in blue-leading New Jersey and potentially a 2016 general election, however.
The poll found that Christie and Clinton, President Obama’s 2008 rival-turned-cabinet member, are tied at 36 percent each among independent voters.