Chris Christie Leads GOP Field in Two New 2016 Presidential Polls

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may indeed be the hottest politician out there ... figuratively. He's leading two 2016 presidential polls among Republicans.

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A Rasmussen Reports poll Wednesday shows Christie, who is expected to win reelection in New Jersey handily this year, leading the potential GOP field.

His 21 percent support edges Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (18 percent) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (16 percent), both of whom may also run.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is behind Bush with 15 percent, while 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan garnered 13 percent of the vote.

Christie and Rubio leading is notable as each has taken criticism recently from within their party for taking positions out of line with the GOP base.

Rand Paul recently had a very public feud with Christie over military spending, with each man making barbs at the other. It likely won't be the last.

Potentially adding to that rivalry, a WMUR/UNH New Hampshire poll released on Tuesday also shows Christie leading the Republican field with 21 percent.

In this poll, Paul comes in second, with 16 percent. Bush places third in the poll with 10 percent, followed by Ryan at 8 percent and Rubio at 6 percent.

New Hampshire is usually the second stop in the presidential nominating contest, but is the first in the national primary after Iowa’s caucus vote.

It’s also widely considered a must win for more moderate Republicans like Christie who tend to struggle with Iowa’s more socially conservative caucus.

In 2012, when Christie declined to seek his party’s nomination, he said that he needed more experience before making a run at the White House.

However, he recently told the Washington Post’s Dan Balz that he had to resist some serious recruiting efforts from within the GOP ranks that year.

He leads GOP candidates in hypothetical matchups against Democrat Hillary Clinton, considered the odds-on favorite to win her party's 2016 nomination.

Yet ironically, Christie faces hurdles within his own party. Despite leading these polls, he is also the man GOP voters least want to have as the nominee.

The first Republican primary vote is more than 30 months away, of course, bit the survey results hint at the rift between various factions of the party.

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