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Vote 2016: New Poll Shows Clinton, Christie Leading 2016 Contenders

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Gov. Chris Christie are in a dead heat in an early look at Iowa voters' preferences in the 2016 presidential race.

A Quinnipiac University poll found Christie and Clinton tied at 41 percent.

The poll, released Monday morning, also found Clinton topping Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 46 to 39 percent.

Both Republicans would beat Vice President Joe Biden if the election were today, according to the Quinnipiac poll of 1,256 registered voters July 15-17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

Biden trails Christie 49 to 32 percent and gets 39 percent to Walker's 42 percent.

"Quinnipiac University has tested Clinton against a variety of Republicans in a number of states and Christie seems to be running the best so far," according to Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Christie's favorability ratio of almost 3-1 is impressive," he continued. "The question is whether he can sustain it as he becomes better known. If so, he could be a strong contender in 2016."

The 2016 numbers come as Quinnipiac finds that President Barack Obama is upside down in Iowa with 55 percent of those polled disapproving of his performance. Ninety percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents disapprove of Obama. Democratic voters approve of him by an 82 to 13 percent margin.

"Obama's problem in Iowa is with independent voters who disapprove of the way he is doing his job by more than 20 points," Brown explained. "Since more Iowans consider themselves independents rather than members of one of the two major parties that is a significant problem for the president."

The Iowa results compare to a 50 to 45 percent disapproval in a May 24 poll. Today, men disapprove 60 to 35 percent, compared to a 54 to 41 percent disapproval in May. Among women, 46 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove, compared to May when 48 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved.

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