Hillary Clinton
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would beat New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in his home state if the 2016 presidential election were held today and both of them ran. Reuters

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wouldn’t win his home state if he ran against Hillary Clinton for president, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. And neither would three other potential 2016 GOP candidates, according to the poll, which also found that the former secretary of state was the only candidate mentioned in the poll who had a higher percentage of voters with a favorable view of her than those who viewed her unfavorably.

"Even Jersey guys, actually Jersey girls, don't think the nation will go for a Jersey guy like Gov. Christopher Christie," Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. "Shades of Woodrow Wilson. The last Jersey guy who got elected president did not carry the state in his 1916 re-election. And this poll shows we haven't changed in the last century. Besides that, we'd sooner vote for the girl from New York, Hillary Clinton. She beats all the probable Republican candidates, including the governor. He does better than the other Republicans but he still loses his home state."

Clinton, who hasn’t announced that she’ll run for president but is widely expected to, beats Christie, 50 percent to 39 percent, in New Jersey, according to the poll. Ready for Hillary, a super PAC raising money for Clinton but not affiliated with her, recently received a $25,000 contribution from Warren Buffett, the prominent investor and third richest man in the world. While there are no limits to how much money an individual can donate to the PAC according to federal campaign rules, Ready for Hillary self-imposed a $25,000 maximum.

The former first lady also topped former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who said last week he’ll decide on running for president “in short order,” and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who announced last week that he’ll run for re-election to the Senate in 2016. Paul can still run for president, so his announcement doesn’t take his name out of the speculation of possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Clinton beat Bush, 53 percent to 31 percent, and Paul by 55 percent to 41 percent, according to the poll.

Christie’s candid style has been popular with Republican voters, but most New Jersey voters don’t want him to enter the presidential race. Half of respondents said they don’t want Christie to run in 2016, 44 percent said they'd like to see him run and 6 percent weren’t sure. If he does run, most Garden State voters -- 62 percent -- said they want Christie to resign because they believed “he cannot serve effectively while running for president.”

"If Christie does run -- and his New Jersey neighbors say he shouldn't -- he should quit his day job," Carroll said.

The poll of 1,340 registered voters was conducted from Dec. 3-8 and has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points. Land lines and cellphones were called as part of the poll.