POLITICS: PennAve

Poll: Presidential hopefuls Christie and Ryan both lead Democrat Hillary Clinton in Colorado

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Two potential Republican presidential candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan, both are running ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the battleground state of Colorado, a poll released Wednesday showed.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Christie with 46 percent of voter support, compared with Clinton's 38 percent.

The poll also showed Ryan ahead of Clinton, 47 percent to 44 percent.

But Christie appears to be the clear favorite, poll officials said.

"The race might be hypothetical, but the lead is very real," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. "Coloradans showing the love for Garden State Gov. Christopher Christie, who for the first time in running well ahead of Hillary Clinton."

Colorado is often described as a purple state — swinging from Republican to Democratic candidates — but it has picked a Democratic president in the past two elections. In 2012, more than 51 percent of voters chose President Obama, compared with about 46 percent who backed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Christie earlier this month won a second term over Democrat Barbara Buono, besting the Democrat by 22 percentage points and demonstrating a strong bipartisan appeal.

The poll found that Colorado voters believe Christie would make a good president by a margin of 48 percent to 29 percent, the best ratio any candidate included in the poll.

"The other contenders, including Clinton, don't have what it takes, voters say, ranging from a negative 46-49 percent for Clinton to a negative 24-66 percent for Vice President Joseph Biden," the poll reported.

Obama's job approval rating has taken a dive in Colorado, a state that backed him by wide margins in both 2008 and 2012. Now, 59 percent of those same voters disapprove of Obama and only 36 percent approve. That margin is even larger among crucial independent voters, 65 percent of whom disapprove of the president.

Coloradans' disapproval is matched only by their dislike for the president's new health care law, which 56 percent of voters now oppose, the poll shows.

The poll also shows that Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, of Colorado, may be vulnerable in his re-election bid next year, with Republican Ken Buck trailing him by just 3 percentage points.

Buck tried unsuccessfully to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, in 2010.A new Quinnipiac University poll on potential 2016 presidential contenders shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan are leading former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the key state of Colorado.

The poll, released Wednesday, shows Christie with 46 percent of support, compared with Clinton, who garnered 38 percent in the survey of 1,206 registered voters.

The poll showed Ryan ahead of Clinton by a 47-to-44-percent margin, but Christie is the clear favorite, poll officials noted.

"The race might be hypothetical, but the lead is very real," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. "Coloradans showing the love for Garden State Gov. Christopher Christie, who for the first time in running well ahead of Hillary Clinton."

Colorado is often described as a purple state — swinging from Republican to Democratic candidates — but has picked a Democratic president in the past two elections. In 2012, more than 51 percent of voters chose President Obama, compared with about 46 percent who backed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Christie recently won re-election to a second term over Democrat Barbara Buono by a 22-point margin and is considered to have strong bipartisan appeal.

The poll found that Colorado voters believe Christie would make a good president by a margin of 48 percent to 29 percent, the best ratio out of all the candidates surveyed.

"The other contenders, including Clinton, don't have what it takes, voters say, ranging from a negative 46-49 percent for Clinton to a negative 24-66 percent for Vice President Joseph Biden," the poll reported.

Obama's job approval rating has taken a dive in Colorado. Voters disapprove of Obama by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent, with a 65 percent to 27 percent disapproval/approval rate among the state's critical independent voters.

The approval rating nearly matches Coloradans' dislike of the new health care law, which the poll found they oppose by 56 percent to 40 percent.

The poll also shows Democratic Sen. Mark Udall may be vulnerable in his re-election bid, with Republican Ken Buck trailing him by just three percentage points.

Buck ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, in 2010. Buck was narrowly defeated and has announced he will challenge Udall in 2014.

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