CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton would beat any of her likely Republican rivals in the 2016 race for president, according to a new Quinnipiac University national poll released Thursday.
Clinton would defeat three potential Republican presidential candidates if the 2016 presidential election were held today, with New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie second in a field of three Democrats and three Republicans selected by Quinnipiac.
"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would start a 2016 presidential campaign with enormous advantages," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "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. But it is worth noting that she had very good poll numbers in 2006 looking toward the 2008 election, before she faced a relative unknown in Barack Obama."
Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would not fare nearly as well, the poll finds.
The Republicans tested also include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, wins easily against any of the Republicans, topping Christie 45 percent to 37 percent; leading Rubio 50 percent to 34 percent, and besting Ryan 50 percent to 38 percent.
Christie gets 43 percent to Biden's 40 percent and tops Cuomo 45 percent to 28 percent. Biden tops Rubio 45 percent to 38 percent and gets 45 percent to Ryan's 42 percent.
Ryan tops Cuomo 42 percent to 37 percent while Cuomo and Rubio are tied 37 percent each.
"Although some Republicans don't think New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is conservative enough for their taste, he runs best of the three Republicans tested and would defeat two of the top Democrats," Brown said. "He obviously is doing better than the Democrats' rising star, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite other indications of anti-Republican sentiment."
The difference between the showing by Clinton, Biden and Cuomo shows in her ability and their inability to attract independent voters. For instance, Clinton ties Christie 36 percent to 36 percent among independents while Biden trails Christie 44 percent to 32 percent among those voters. Cuomo trails Christie 47 percent to 20 percent among independent voters.
The poll was conducted from Feb. 27 to March 4, surveying 1,944 registered voters with a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.
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