Poll: Rubio narrowly leads 2016 GOP field

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead in the Democratic field of potential 2016 contenders, but Republicans are split on their 2016 prospects, according to a new poll.

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Farleigh Dickinson University's Public Mind Poll of registered voters nationwide gives Clinton 63 percent support from self-identified Democrats and those who lean Democratic. Vice President Biden comes in a distant second with 12 percent, while 3 percent support New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Republican field is significantly tighter. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) holds a slight lead over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 18 percent to 16 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes in a close third with 14 percent support, and 9 percent of respondents say they prefer former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Notably absent from the poll is Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who recently led the field in a New Hampshire poll conducted by a Democratic firm.

Rubio leads among respondents who describe themselves as conservative, but Christie leads with both liberals and centrists. Rubio also leads with voters aged 18-29, a demographic that the GOP has typically had trouble attracting.

A majority of voters believe the country is headed down the wrong track, but that's essentially unchanged since the last national poll by the university in December of 2012. 

Voters are split on President Obama's job performance, with 46 percent approving and 42 percent disapproving, numbers that are largely unchanged since December.

The Public Mind Poll was conducted among 863 registered voters from April 22-28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.