The Washington Times - November 27, 2013, 08:34AM

If you asked Ohio voters to decide the 2016 presidential contest right now, they would take former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by a smidgen, a new poll says.

The Quinnipiac University poll says Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat, would top the straight-talking Republican governor, 42 percent to 41 percent, and the former first lady would top Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 49 percent to 38 percent.


Mrs. Clinton also would best each of the other top Republican contenders — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas — by 9 percent to 15 percent.

Quinnipiac says Ohio voters think Mrs. Clinton would make a good president, 54 percent to 40 percent, followed by Mr. Christie at 44 percent to 32 percent.

“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are the 2016 leaders to Ohio voters, locked in a statistical tie,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute. “Ms. Clinton easily defeats a bevy of other potential GOP aspirants. Interestingly, when voters are asked whether she would make a good president, more say yes, than say they would vote for her.”

The Buckeye State is less enthusiastic about Vice President Joseph R. Biden, with only 28 percent of voters saying he would be a good president.

The poll also said Ohioans do not think highly of President Obama at the moment, giving him a negative rating of 34 percent to 61 percent. It’s his lowest rating in any Quinnipiac poll nationally or in any state.

The polling institute surveyed 1,361 registered voters from Nov. 19 to 24; the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.