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By William Douglas, McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leads New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a potential White House contender, in his home state, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

Clinton, President Barack Obama’s former secretary of state, leads the second-term governor 50 percent to 42 percent in the poll. The poll exposes a huge gender gap with Clinton ahead among women 54 percent to 38 percent. Men in the Garden State prefer Christie over Clinton 47 percent to 44 percent.

The poll also finds Clinton, a New York resident, with a higher favorability rating — 60 percent to 38 percent — than Christie. New Jersey voters were split 47-47 on the governor, who has had to deal with a controversy over whether his aides orchestrated major traffic jams on the New Jersey-New York George Washington Bridge last year as political payback against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.

“As Gov. Christopher Christie traipses around the nation, his presidential potential seems alive, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the adopted girl next door, easily beats him in his home state,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll shows Clinton with double-digit leads in New Jersey over other possible Republican presidential candidates: 54-34 over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; 55-35 over Senator Rand Paul (R-KY); and 57-34 over former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

AFP Photo/Thomas Samson

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