- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a commanding lead over other possible 2016 Democratic presidential contenders, while the race for the Republican nomination looks to be somewhat of a free-for-all this early in the proceedings.

Seventy-three percent of Democrats prefer Mrs. Clinton, compared to 12 percent for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and 8 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan narrowly leads a field of a half dozen potential candidates on the Republican side, with 20 percent of GOP voters choosing the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee.

Eighteen percent prefer former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 13 percent choose New Jersey Gov, Chris Christie. Rounding out the specific candidates on the GOP side are three U.S. senators: Ted Cruz of Texas gets 12 percent, Rand Paul of Kentucky gets 11 percent, and Marco Rubio of Florida takes 10 percent.

Among registered voters, Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. Christie by a 53 percent to 41 percent margin in a hypothetical match-up.

People are still divided over the situation surrounding aides to Mr. Christie reportedly closing traffic lanes to the George Washington Bridge to exact political revenge last year. Forty-three percent say it’s an isolated incident, and 46 percent say it’s a sign of broader problems in Mr. Christie’s leadership.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they were Democrats, 25 percent said Republican, and 37 percent said independent.

The overall poll of 1,003 adults was conducted from Jan. 20-23 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. The error margin is 3.5 percentage points for the sample of 873 registered voters and 5 points for the samples of 455 “leaned Democrats” and 457 “leaned Republicans.”

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