Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and newly re-elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are locked in a tight race entering the 2016 presidential election, according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports said Monday that Clinton is edging Christie slightly, 43 percent to 41 percent, with the governor winning independent voters by nine percent.

“It’s a dead heat,” said the pollster.

Neither Republican Christie nor Democrat Clinton have officially entered the race, but both are showing early signs that they will run.

The new survey of 1,000 voters is significant for Christie, who has failed to bust out in polls comparing potential GOP rivals. Rasmussen found that if he was the nominee, he would receive 73 percent of the Republican vote, similar to Clinton, who has the support of 77 percent of Democrats.

The poll found that Clinton would win women and younger voters. But she still faces a huge landmine with her handling of last year’s attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Rasmussen said that 43 percent of likely voters believe the issue will hurt her candidacy.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at