Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacts to the cheers of the crowd as she arrives to address the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum annual Issues Conference in Washington, Sept. 19, 2014.
Jim Bourg/Reuters

New Jersey voters prefer Hillary Clinton over Chris Christie


Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie does not have a home field advantage when it comes to 2016.

According to a Quinnipiac poll released on Wednesday, Garden State voters prefer Hillary Clinton – the early front-runner among 2016 presidential candidates – over Christie by a 50 to 40% margin.

That’s especially true among New Jersey women; Clinton holds a 56% to 36% lead over Christie among that demographic. Men are more divided with 43% for Clinton and 46% for Christie.

“The adopted daughter next door whips the native son when it comes to presidential politics in New Jersey,” said Maurice Carroll, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University survey, referring to Clinton’s tenure as senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, has said she expects to make a decision on if she’ll run for the nation’s highest office early next year. Christie  – who is criss-crossing the country to stump for 2014 candidates before next month’s midterm election – has also said he is weighing a 2016 bid.

Related: Does the Clinton pre-campaign survive the real campaign?

But Christie’s approval rating overall has hit a three-year low among New Jerseyans; 46% said they approve of Christie’s job performance, compared to 45% of disapprove.

The governor’s schedule is jam-packed this week. On Wednesday, he attends an event as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association in Los Angeles. On Thursday, Christie is in Arizona stumping for gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey. And on Friday, he’s off to Colorado to campaign with gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez before taking off to the early voting state of Iowa to attend an event for Gov. Terry Branstad. Christie recently was in Wisconsin helping Republican Gov. Scott Walker in his close fight for reelection. 

Christie will go back to Iowa again later this month – fueling speculation that he is seriously considering 2016 – for a birthday fundraiser for Branstad. The Oct. 25 event will be his third trip to the presidential testing grounds state in four months.