New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)  in Phoenix on   Nov. 22, 2013. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) fares best in a new poll of the potential 2016 GOP presidential primary released Wednesday. The survey shows the New Jersey governor holding small leads over Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

Christie, fresh off a commanding election victory, claims the support of 17 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning independents asked who they'd support if the primary were held now in the Quinnipiac University poll. He's followed by Paul (14 percent), Cruz (13 percent) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Five other potential Republican candidates each attracted single-digit support. Nineteen percent said they didn't know or would support someone else.

On the Democratic side, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to donate. She attracts 66 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners polled about the prospective primary. No other Democrat cracks 10 percent.

Pitted against one another in a hypothetical general election matchup, Christie and Clinton run about even. Forty-two percent say they support the governor, while 41 percent opt for Clinton.