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First-ever lead: Chris Christie over Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Paul Ryan,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,Rand Paul,Ted Cruz,Campaigns,Chris Christie

It's finally happened: Newly re-elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bests former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a respected 2016 presidential poll, the first to show him beating the Clinton dynasty for the White House.

The new Quinnipiac University National Poll gives Republican Christie a tiny edge, 43 percent to 42 percent, but suggests that Clinton is fading in the wake of his huge victory and the tremendous political problems Democrats are having with Obamacare.

Two other polls released this week had Clinton winning. Rasmussen Reports gave her a 43-to-4 edge, and NBC put her lead at 44 to 35.

Clinton has leads of nine points or more against other possible Republican contenders, said the poll:

» 49-40 percent over Sen. Rand Paul

» 51-36 percent over Sen. Ted Cruz

» 49-40 percent over Rep. Paul Ryan

"It's a long way off, and no one is officially a candidate yet, but the Hillary Clinton-Chris Christie race to the White House is neck-and-neck before the campaign even saddles up," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.