Though we are still over a thousand days away from the 2016 presidential election, NBC commissioned a poll looking at a hypothetical match-up between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Chris Christie. As of today, Clinton would trounce Christie by a full 10 points, 44% to 34%.
NBC’s Chuck Todd has been making a good point all morning–that this poor showing for Christie comes at a time when the New Jersey governor is enjoying a political high point. He not only won a commanding re-election in a blue state, but his national media coverage has been mostly positive.
The poll also shows that Christie’s ability to earn support from Democrat constituencies might not translate outside of Jersey. Clinton shellacs him 83-4% with blacks, 44-33% with Hispanics, and 45-31% with 18-to-29-year-olds.
It worth pointing out, though, that as bad as those numbers look, Christie is polling better in those areas than Mitt Romney.
Christie is actually better-positioned than Mitt Romney was in 2012. While Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points, Christie trails by just 11 (and is notably already ahead of Romney’s 27 percent showing, despite a about a quarter of Latino voters being undecided). And while Romney lost young voters by 23 points, Christie trails by just 14. All of this despite Christie’s name ID deficit.
If Christie could lose by only those margins among those demographics, he would probably win. And his performance on Election Day in New Jersey last week suggests that he’s quite capable of doing that.
That is only true today and therefore a somewhat artificial conclusion. Right now the elite media love Christie for the same reason they loved McCain during the Bush years: he is useful in their war against conservatives. Should the New Jersey governor become a real threat to putting Clinton in the White House, the media will turn on him just like they did their buddy McCain, which will certainly drive all of his numbers down.
Clinton enjoys strong support from a base that is already coalescing around her, with 66% saying they will vote for her in a presidential primary. Only 14% want someone else. This is a big turnaround for Clinton from 2008 when her vote in favor of the Iraq War had many Democrats looking elsewhere.
Christie is far from solidifying the GOP. Only 32% support him, while an almost equal number, 31%, want someone else.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC