DURHAM – Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Chris Christie lead their respective fields of potential 2016 presidential nominee, but in very different ways, a new poll shows.
The latest WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Research Center shows Clinton with a commanding lead over any potential Democratic rival in the first-in-the-nation primary, while Christie has a small edge in a tightly packed GOP field but would be far behind Mitt Romney should the 2012 nominee try his hand for a third time.
When 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney is added to the mix, he leads substantially. But Romney has said repeatedly he is not interested in running.
UNH polled 669 Granite State adults between June 19 and July 1. The GOP likely voter sampling of 251 had a margin of error of 6.1 percent while the margin of error for the Democratic sampling of 257 likely voters had a margin of error of 6.1 percent.
The key finding in the poll is that 77 percent of Democratic primary voters and 87 percent of Republican primary said they have yet to firmly decide who they will support. Granite State voters are notoriously late deciders, so today’s poll more than a year-and-a-half before the primary is highly speculative.
Still, Clinton clearly remains the Democratic frontrunner.
The Democratic breakdown has her with 59 percent, with 14 percent for Vice President Joe Biden, 8 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 5 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 3 percent for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and 1 percent for Virginia Sen. Mark Warner. Nine percent are undecided.
The GOP field has New Jersey Gov. Christie with 19 percent, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 14 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 11 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 8 percent, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 5 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 5 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 3 percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 2 percent and 1 percent each for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, with 15 percent undecided on a favorite.
When Romney is added, he is favored by 39 percent, while all other potential candidates fall below 10 percent.
For complete poll results click here.