New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race match-up, according to a Public Policy Polling poll released Wednesday.
Christie narrowly tops Clinton 45 percent to 42 percent in a nationwide poll of registered voters. He is the only Republican to do so.
His narrow lead is almost within the poll’s 2.7 percentage point margin of error; still, Clinton leads all the other possible Republican contenders polled against her by at least a five-point margin.
That’s a shake-up since Democratic firm PPP’s last national poll in early November, when Christie trailed Clinton 39 percent to 44 percent.
Christie also tops the Republican field among Republican primary voters, with 19 percent saying they would like to see him as the nominee. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is second behind Christie, with 14 percent, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 13 percent. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is at 11 percent.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tie at 10 percent. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in single digits at seven percent, along with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at four percent and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at three percent.
The New Jersey governor is the only Republican candidate tested with a favorable approval rating — 43 percent have a favorable view of him, while just 31 percent have an unfavorable view. But 26 percent say they are not sure what they think of him, meaning those numbers have room to shift one way or the other as he becomes more well known.
The poll surveyed 1,316 registered voters nationwide using automated phone calls Dec. 13 through 15. The Republican part is based on responses from 600 Republican primary voters.