The latest on the presidential horse race.

North Carolina 2016: Christie Only GOP Candidate Leading Clinton

PPP, 11/8-11/11, North Carolina:

  • Clinton: 43, Christie: 46
  • Clinton: 50, Paul: 41
  • Clinton: 47, Bush: 43
  • Clinton: 51, Cruz: 39

A new poll released by Public Policy Pollling shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a solid lead over every potential Republican nominee in North Carolina – except New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Among 701 registered North Carolina voters polled, 46 percent said they would vote for Christie while 43 percent said they would go for Hillary Clinton in a potential 2016 matchup in the critical swing state.

The modest lead over Clinton isn’t the best news that Christie received from the polling data. Once again showing the viability of his candidacy, all of the other candidates are trailing Hillary in the polls, some by double-digits.

In a hypothetical matchup between Clinton and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, 50 percent of North Carolina voters said they would opt for Clinton while only 41 percent favored Paul. That means that Paul would garner 5 percent less than Christie while Hillary’s support jumps 7 percent.

The PPP poll included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush over other potential candidates like Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio though Bush isn’t as likely to seek the nomination. Even without any campaigning, Bush only trails Clinton by 4 percent in a hypothetical 2016 matchup. While 47 percent of voters said they would prefer Clinton, Bush garnered 43 percent support, higher than both Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz has not garnered a lot of support outside of the southwest and trails in a hypothetical matchup against Hillary Clinton 51-39. Neither Tea Party candidate received more than 41 percent support. Of course, this far out of the election, about 10 to 11 percent of respondents still say they aren’t sure so, outside of Cruz, all of these results fall to the whim of the undecideds.

North Carolina had consistently voted for Republican candidates in every election until 2008. Although North Carolina voted for Obama in 2008 by a razor-thin margin of 49.7 to 49.4, they opted for Mitt Romney in 2012, 50.4 to 48.35. The poll clearly shows that many North Carolinians are looking to vote for who they think is the best candidate, not a specific party.

(Image courtesy of New Jersey National Guard)