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Off to the races: Hillary on top

Hillary Clinton tops the presidential 2016 field in hypothetical matchups with Chris Christie (45%-37%), Paul Ryan (50-38%), and Marco Rubio (50-34%), according to a Quinnipiac poll. By contrast, Christie would beat Joe Biden (43-40%). Biden, however, beats Rubio (45-38%) and Ryan (45-42%). Andrew Cuomo loses badly to Christie (45-28%), ties Rubio (37%-37%), and loses to Ryan (42-37%).

Stu Rothenberg says Democrats have a chance to pick up governorships in some key states come 2014.

How many times can Newt Gingrich jump the shark? He says he’d be open to being on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.

GEORGIA: “One likely candidate called Todd Akin ‘partially right’ about ‘legitimate rape.’ Another said evolution and the Big Bang theory are ‘lies straight from the pit of hell.’ A third accused the Obama administration of practicing ‘shakedown politics’ after BP set aside $20 billion to compensate victims for damage from the Gulf oil spill,” Politico writes. “The Republican primary for the open Senate seat in Georgia is shaping up to be a free-for-all, drawing interest from some of the most conservative members of the House and raising concerns that a race to the right could put in play what should be a safe seat. It comes as the party tries to head off the problem that cost it dearly in 2012: nominating candidates who say things so off-putting to mainstream voters that they blow the election.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Lindsey Graham doesn’t seem to be sweating a tea party threat? Why? Jill Lawrence notes: “One of the most marked trends in South Carolina politics is the fade of the tea party. Only 5.5 percent of registered voters in the state said they considered themselves tea party members in the Winthrop poll, down from 19.2 percent in October 2010. Back then, about half of registered voters said they agreed with tea party principles. In last month’s poll, only 24.1 percent said they approved of the movement.”