NJ exit polling: Clinton tops Christie in 2016

Though he won a smashing victory in Tuesday night's gubernatorial election, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) would fall to Democrat Hillary Clinton if the 2016 presidential race were held today, according to exit polling.

CNN exit polls give the former secretary of State 50 percent support to Christie's 43 percent in his home state.

That's reflective of a larger distaste for Republicans in the Garden State, which has voted reliably blue on the presidential level for the past two decades.

Exit polls also gave the Republican Party a 38 percent approval rating among New Jersey voters, and President Obama is more popular in New Jersey than he is nationwide.

Fifty-two percent of Garden State voters approve of his job performance, while 48 percent disapprove. He won the state by 17 points last November.

Respondents are split on a President Christie — 49 percent say he'd make a good president, while 46 percent say he wouldn't.

The exit polling that favors Clinton is reflective of most national polls of the prospective presidential race. Christie is consistently the strongest Republican against her, but she maintains a steady lead. The most recent national survey, from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, gave her a five-point lead over the governor.

Neither has yet announced their plans for 2016, but both are widely considered top prospects for their respective parties' nominations. While Clinton would likely clear the Democratic field, however, Christie would be expected to face a contentious Republican primary.