Poll: Clinton running away with Dem nomination, Christie leads for GOP

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) remains the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) narrowly leads a packed field of GOP contenders, according to a CNN-ORC poll released Monday.

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According to the survey, 65 percent of Democrats or liberal-leaning independents say they would back Clinton for the presidential nomination. Vice President Biden came in a distant second at 10 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 7 percent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 6 percent and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 2 percent.

Biden headlined a high-profile Democratic fundraiser in the early caucus state of Iowa on Sunday, and political watchers are debating whether the vice president would challenge Clinton in the Democratic primary if she were to decide to run.

The Republican field is far more crowded. Christie leads at 17 percent, just edging Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at 16 percent. Ryan was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came in third at 13 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) at 10 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) at 9 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 7 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) at 5 percent. Santorum was the foremost challenger to Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Clinton and Christie are two of the most popular political figures in the country, and both routinely register strong favorability ratings in public opinion polls. One Quinnipiac University poll from last month showed Clinton edging Christie 46 to 40 in a head-to-head match-up.

None of the potential candidates have publicly committed to a 2016 run. However, Ready for Hillary, a super-PAC pushing the former New York senator to run, is loaded with former Obama campaign activists.

The CNN-ORC poll of 1,022 adults was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 8 and has a 4.5-percentage-point margin of error.