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The GOP's most likely threat to Hillary

Now that Gov. Chris Christie’s out of the running, this Republican looks a lot more viable.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 11, 2013.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 11, 2013.

With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie marred by scandal, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is Hillary Clinton’s biggest threat in the pivotal swing state of Ohio, according to a new poll.

While the former secretary of state trumped the entire field of Republicans, Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential nominee, came the closest to giving Clinton a run for her money. When matched up in the Buckeye State, Clinton won 49% of the vote, while 40% of voters said they’d cast their ballots for Ryan, according to a Quinnipiac survey released Thursday.

The 2016 speculation around the Wisconsin Republican has grown since Christie—widely seen as a promising 2016 candidate who could threaten Clinton’s wide appeal—has been dogged by the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal. Shortly after his landslide re-election in New Jersey—but before the scandal broke—Christie trailed Clinton by just 1 point in Quinnipiac’s polling of Ohio.

Since losing with Romney in 2012, Ryan has seemingly focused on his legislative agenda over self-promotion—more so than some other potential 2016 candidates.

Last year, Ryan said he would give “serious thought” to a 2016 run, but at the moment was focused on his congressional work.

"I shouldn't be clouding my judgment today by thinking about some political thing four years from now," he said. "I should not be clouding my judgment by thinking: How does this position me to run for the president?"