A 2016 presidential poll shows a familiar frontrunner to take the presidency — Hillary Clinton.
The former Senator and Secretary of State, Clinton would defeat any Republican challengers, the poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday showed. Clinton was even ahead of rising GOP star Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who led his state with aplomb during Superstorm Sandy.
“Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton would start a 2016 presidential campaign with enormous advantages,” said the polling institute’s assistant director Peter Brown. “She obviously is by far the best known, and her more than 20 years in the public spotlight allows her to create a very favorable impression on the American people.”
The 2016 presidential poll showed that in a hypothetical matchup, Hillary Clinton would beat Christie 45 percent to 37 percent and top Wisconsin Representative and former Mitt Romney running mate Paul Ryan 50 percent to 38 percent. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, seen as a Republican rising star, would lose to Clinton by a 16-point margin, 50 percent to 34 percent.
Other Democrats did not fare as well as Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden would lose to Christie 43 percent to 40 percent, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would lose to Christie 45 percent to 28 percent.
Hillary Clinton’s strength seems to lie with her independent appeal. While Christie outshined Cuomo and Biden among independent voters, Clinton was able to tie him at 36 percent support.
This is not the first 2016 presidential poll to show Hillary Clinton on top. One released from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling back in January showed that she would be “the ideal Democratic presidential candidate,” beating every Republican challenger other than Chris Christie.
The poll also found that Clinton had a 54 percent favorable rating among registered voters, while 39 percent viewed her unfavorably. Clinton had a large lead over any possible Democratic primary opponent, getting the support of 57 percent of respondents. Joe Biden came in a distant second with 16 percent.
“As expected, Hillary Clinton would be the ideal Democratic presidential candidate in 2016,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said at the time. “But if Chris Christie could win the GOP nomination, he’d be a formidable general election candidate.”
Public Policy Polling’s 2016 presidential poll showed a more difficult path for Christie, with Republican challengers like Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee close on his tail for the nomination.
Of course, a 2016 presidential poll mean little to a race that is still more than three years away. Those who follow polls will remember how even up to a year before the 2008 election, conventional wisdom had it as a two-person race between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani. And for her part, Clinton says she has no plans to run for president in 2016.