Clinton is retiring from her position in President Obama's Cabinet, and has tried to temper expectations that she'd be open to running in 2016. However, after failing to gain the nomination in 2008, her performance as secretary of State has boosted her profile, and many in both parties believe she would be a formidable presidential candidate.
In December, former Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (R) said the Republican Party in its current form was “incapable” of beating her if she's the Democratic nominee in 2016.
On the Republican side, the field is far more competitive. Rubio leads with 21 percent support, followed by former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Healthcare: GOP in talks about helping insurers after ObamaCare repeal Ryan on Trump: 'We're not looking back' Walden to head powerful Energy and Commerce Committee MORE (R-Wis.) at 16. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee holds 15 percent support, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tied at 14, Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulThe ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? Rand Paul skeptical about Romney as secretary of State Trump should propose amnesty — for unpaid ObamaCare penalties MORE (R-Ky.) at 5, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at 3, and Govs. Rick Perry (Texas) and Susana Martinez (New Mexico) each taking 2.
Rubio's recent schedule — a stop in Iowa, the first caucus state, and a high-profile interview with GQ magazine — has many Republicans hopeful that he's gearing up for a run.
However, Clinton trounces Rubio, Ryan and Bush in head to head match-ups, according to the early PPP survey, besting each by 14 percentage points.
The most competitive Republican against Clinton right now is Christie, according to the poll, who trails Clinton 44 to 42.
But Christie has infuriated some on the right recently after praising Obama for the federal response to Hurricane Sandy in the final days of the 2012 campaign, and then bashing congressional Republicans after Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE (R-Ohio) pulled a vote on a bill to provide aid to victims of the storm.
Christie's favorability with Republican voters is among the lowest of any of the candidates at 44 positive and 29 negative.