2016 Poll: Clinton tops GOP field in crucial state

Ohio has voted for the winning presidential candidate in each election since 1964.

So who do Buckeye State voters say may win their state in the next race for the White House?

A new Quinnipiac University poll suggests that Hillary Clinton sweeps the field of potential Republican presidential contenders in hypothetical 2016 matchups in the crucial battleground state.

According to the survey, the former secretary of state tops New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 49%-36% among registered voters in Ohio. Clinton and Christie were basically knotted up in November, soon after Christie's landslide re-election as governor and before the New Jersey bridge controversy went viral nationwide.

The poll also indicates Clinton leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 51%-36%, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 50%-36%, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky 51%-38%, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 51%-34%, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, 49%-40%, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich 51%-39%.

"Of Republicans tested, Wisconsin's Paul Ryan runs best in Ohio against the former Secretary of State and Gov. John Kasich runs relatively well. But Mrs. Clinton remains far and away the leader at this point in Ohio," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Clinton, who says she'll decide by the end of this year if she launches another bid for the White House, would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic nomination if she runs.

Ohio voters, by a 55%-39% margin, say Clinton would make a good president. No Republican listed on the questionnaire got a positive score on that question.

Polls conducted this early in a presidential election cycle are heavily influenced by name recognition and are often not very good indicators of what may actually occur down the road.

As for the current president, Barack Obama's approval/disapproval rating stands at 40%-55%. That's nothing to brag about, but it's an improvement from Quinnipiac's late November poll, when the President stood at 34%-61%.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted Feb. 12-17, with 1,370 Ohio voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

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