WASHINGTON - An NBC News poll gives us an early snapshot of where Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stand in a hypothetical presidential matchup.

If Governor Christie runs, he'd likely face the challenge not only of taking on a formidable general election foe, but uniting a divided Republican party.

BRENDA'S LAST WORD | Presidential election 2016

If the 2016 general election were held now - the Democrat Clinton would get the support of 44 percent of all adults, while Christie gets 34 percent. Twelve percent don't know, 5 percent would not vote and 3 percent would vote for some other candidate.

The former secretary of state leads leads Governor Christie among African-Americans (83 percent - 4 percent), those ages 18-49 (45 percent - 31 percent) and Hispanics (44 percent to 33 percent). Clinton has a narrow lead among independents (39 percent - 35 percent).

Christie leads among whites (41 percent - 37 percent), seniors (44 percent - 41 percent), and respondents with the highest incomes (39 percent - 35 percent). Clinton also appears to have stronger support in her own party than Christie.

If the Democratic primary were held today, the former secretary of state would be the choice of 66 percent of self-identified Democrats. Fourteen percent would vote for another Democrat. Eighteen percent don't know.

But Governor Christie only gets 32 percent of the hypothetical Republican primary vote versus 31 percent of self-identified Republicans who would vote for another GOPer. Thirty-five percent don't know.

The 2016 election is, of course, 1,000 days away.

The NBC poll was conducted Nov. 7 through 10 of 1,003 adults (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.6 percentage points), 428 Democrats or those who lean Democratic (plus-minus 5.5 percentage points) and 394 Republicans or those who lean Republican (plus-minus 5.8 percentage points).

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