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Jeb Bush and Chris Christie atop GOP presidential poll

Luke Skywalker

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (Associated Press photo).(Photo: Wilfredo Lee)

Gov. Chris Christie held his ground in a new CNN poll on 2016 Republican presidential candidates but he and others are at the moment no match for the frontrunner, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush was the pick of 23% of Republicans surveyed in the nationwide poll, 10 points ahead Christie. Physician Ben Carson is third at 7%, followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
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Bush recently announced on Facebook that he's "actively exploring'' a bid for the party nomination, the farthest commitment any of the potential major candidates has made thus far, and it allowed Bush's support to jump from the 14% recorded in the last CNN/ORC International poll conducted in November.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stands in the gymnasium of Camden High School Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Camden, N.J.(Photo: Mel Evans, AP)

Christie, who had a 9% showing in November, gave mixed signals earlier this month about entering the presidential race, or when he would enter it.
During the week he visited Canada for what he said was a trade mission, Christie on several occasions indicated that a presidential campaign announcement is farther off in the distance than he had previously indicated.
"I've made no mystery of the fact that I'm thinking about running for president, but I've also made no mystery of the fact that I'm not going to make any decision until well into next year,'' he said then.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains the runaway leader. The former secretary of state took the support of 66% of Democrats polled. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is second at 9%.
Clinton also would defeat Bush, 54% to 41%, and Christie, 56% to 39%, if the presidential election took place now, the poll found.
The survey was conducted by live interview among 1,011 adults nationwide from Dec. 18-21, with a subsample of 453 Republicans and 469 Democrats, via landline and cellphone. The overall sample has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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