DENVER – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Colorado if the 2016 presidential vote were held today, a poll released Wednesday found.
Fresh off his own re-election as governor, Christie is the most popular Republican prospect among Colorado voters, crushing Clinton 46 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll by Quinnipiac University of Connecticut.
“The race might be hypothetical, but the lead is very real. Coloradans are showing the love for Garden State Gov. Christopher Christie, who for the first time is running well ahead of Hillary Clinton,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a news release.
Clinton was losing by smaller margins to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (47 percent to 44 percent) and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (45 percent to 43 percent). She was tied at 44 percent with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
The poll found the popularity of Democrats in general plummeted since the last time Quinnipiac surveyed Colorado voters in August. But Republicans don’t have much to cheer about. Their popularity ratings remain even lower.
Colorado voters have unfavorable views of the Democratic Party, with 39 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving; the Republican Party, 34 percent to 56 percent; and the GOP’s tea party faction, 34 percent to 48 percent.
Despite the Democratic collapse, Sen. Mark Udall was running slightly ahead of his GOP challengers. Udall was beating 2010 Senate candidate Ken Buck 45 percent to 42 percent; state Sen. Randy Baumgardner 44 percent to 39 percent; state Sen. Owen Hill 45 percent to 39 percent; and state Rep. Amy Stephens 45 percent to 38 percent.
Durango businessman Jaime McMillan, a virtually unknown candidate, did as well as Buck, getting 40 percent to Udall’s 43 percent. McMillan has run for a handful of offices as a Democrat and an unaffiliated candidate. He switched to the Republican Party for the Senate race.
The poll conducted Friday through Monday surveyed 1,206 registered voters, with a margin of error of 2.8 percent.
In results from the same poll released Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s popularity had dropped, but he was still beating the Republican field.