Christie, who leads among likely Republican caucusgoers by dint of a split conservative field, is also the only Republican who currently leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, D, in a general election matchup. The last time a Republican won Iowa was 2004 — also the last time President Obama wasn’t on the ballot.
The poll, conducted by Harper Polling over the weekend, shows Christie with 17 percent support, just slightly ahead of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 16 percent. In third is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (13 percent), whose father placed third in the 2012 caucuses.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, still maintains a substantial following in Iowa. He draws 11 percent support. Behind him are two potential candidates from neighboring Wisconsin — House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (9 percent) and Gov. Scott Walker (7 percent), and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (6 percent).