(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Although the next presidential election in the U.S. is more than two years away, a number of polls have shown that the two main candidates are currently New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are deadlocked in public opinion.
A Fox News national poll found that Clinton, who is also a former first lady and New York Senator, has a very solid lead against all other Democratic hopefuls for the presidency, receiving 68 percent of the support. Vice President Joe Biden is at a distant second place with 12 percent.
From the Republican side, Christie has 16 percent of the support, but is facing some competition from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan who each have 12 percent of the votes.
The Fox poll, which was conducted Dec. 14-16 among 1,027 registered voters and has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points, also showed that 10 percent of those who voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential election in 2012 now regret their vote. Six percent said they regret voting for GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
Other major polls around the country have also shown that Clinton and Christie are in a tight race for the next election. A CNN poll also released on Thursday shows that 48 percent of registered voters said they would support Christie for the presidency, while 46 percent said they would back Clinton. However, the Republican candidate's two-point lead is within the survey's sampling error.
"He performs particularly well among independents, winning nearly six in 10 in that key group," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said about Christie. "He also wins a majority of suburbanites and older voters, something that no other GOP hopeful [that was] tested was able to do against Clinton."
The CNN poll conducted by ORC International, Dec. 16-19, among 950 registered voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
"Christie doesn't win in the Northeast, although he does hold Clinton to a bare majority there, but he has a solid edge in the Midwest while playing Clinton to a draw in the South and West," Holland added.
The poll revealed a notable gender gap among voters. While Christie enjoys a 14-point lead among men, he loses women to Clinton by 10 points.
The CNN polling director insisted, however, that polls taken a number of years before the actual election have "little or no predictive value," and voters' choices are often based on name recognition.