A poll released Monday shows a would-be 2016 presidential match-up between former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a statistical dead heat, with Mrs. Clinton holding a two-point lead, 43 percent to 41 percent, over her potential Republican rival.
The Rasmussen Reports poll comes less than a week after Mr. Christie’s 22-point re-election romp over Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono in the Garden State. While many have been quick to crown Mr. Christie the de facto front-runner for the party’s nomination in 2016 as a result, other Republicans — such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who are also possible contenders — have not been as quick to embrace Mr. Christie as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative.
Sixty-five percent of conservatives choose Mr. Christie in the poll, compared to 84 percent of liberals and 51 percent of moderates who favor Mrs. Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton has treaded carefully on political matters since leaving her apolitical Cabinet post earlier this year, publicly endorsing gay marriage in March and delivering remarks in defense of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the law in June.
Her first overt political event since leaving her post came when she formally endorsed her longtime friend, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, in the Virginia governor’s race last month at a rally in Falls Church. Mr. McAuliffe narrowly defeated Republican Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II last Tuesday, 48 percent to 45 percent, according to unofficial results.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on Nov. 7-8 — after Tuesday’s elections — and has a margin of error of three percentage points.
The full poll can be found at http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/2016_clinton_43_christie_41.