The latest on the presidential horse race.

Polls Show Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton in Dead Heat

Quinnipiac 11/6-11/11

  • Christie: 43, Clinton: 42

Rasmussen 11/7-11/8

  • Christie: 41, Clinton: 43

Two new polls released during the past week show a very evenly matched contest brewing between likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and potential Republican nominee Chris Christie for the 2016 presidential election. While the latest Quinnipiac poll has Christie up by a point and the latest Rasmussen poll has Clinton up by two points, both fall within the margin of error, indicating a potential dead heat between the two heavyweights.

The Quinnipiac poll, conducted between November 6 and November 11, is the largest sample poll released for this hypothetical matchup yet. Of a sample of 2,545 registered voters, 43 percent said they would vote for Christie while 42 percent said they prefer Clinton. By contrast, voters went for Hillary over Kentucky Senator Rand Paul 49-40, over Texas Senator Ted Cruz 51-36, and over Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan 49-40. Not only does this show how close a Christie-Clinton race would be but also how far behind the other potential candidates are in a hypothetical general election scenario.

The Rasmussen poll, conducted between November 7 and November 8, sampled 1,000 likely voters and found Clinton leading by a 43-41 margin. Among unaffiliated independent voters, Christie led 42 percent to 33 percent, a sign that the moderate Republican could reach voters that conservative Republican candidates have long abandoned.

This is a major change in the trends since the last Quinnipiac poll, released at the end of September, had Hillary leading Christie 49-36. It looks like his gubernatorial re-election and media hype that followed has given Christie a solid bump. Most polls released between February and September consistently had Hillary leading by a margin of 3 to 6 percent.

Before any potential matchup with Hillary, however, Christie would have to overcome a lack of support from conservatives. A recent NBC poll found that while 57 percent of Northeast Republicans supported Christie for the nomination (only 22 percent said they would oppose it), the rest of the country’s Republicans did not agree. In the Midwest, 35 percent of Republicans supported Christie, 29 percent in the South, and 40 percent in the West.

A poll by Quinnipiac confirmed conservative objections to Christie’s candidacy with only 33 percent of conservatives saying they had a favorable opinion of Christie. Among “very conservative respondents” PPP found that Christie had just 3 percent support, behind the likes of Paul, Cruz, Marco Rubio, and even Sarah Palin.

(Image courtesy of US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan)