It appears as though the GOP presidential primary race is a game for the outsiders.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) PublicMind national poll released Thursday still shows Gov. Chris Christie still near the bottom of the pack. The top two were Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who have never held elective office — and that apparently is appealing to Republican voters.

“Our own governor is currently polling at 3 percent, something that is far away from the 26 percent of Trump and 22 percent of Carson,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science at FDU and director of PublicMind. “We found in our survey that one of the things that people seem to want is somebody who is kind of coming from the outside, if you look at the numbers of the top contenders.”

The results on the Republican side of the equation:

  • Donald Trump – 26 percent
  • Ben Carson – 22 percent
  • Marco Rubio – 8 percent
  • Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina – 7 percent
  • Mike Huckabee – 6 percent
  • Ted Cruz – 5 percent
  • Rand Paul – 4 percent
  • Chris Christie – 3 percent

“It is difficult for Gov. Christie because he is considered more of an establishment candidate because he holds elective office and I think this is something that voters are largely turning away from. It suggests that as we move into the homestretch of the primary and caucus season it’s an uphill battle for him to win the hearts and minds of voters across the nation,” Jenkins said.

It is obvious that in politics opposites don’t attract. The survey revealed that 82 percent of respondents said they favor candidates who think like them. Jenkins said that was a universal finding across a host of demographic categories.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still has a commanding lead, according to the poll:

  • Hillary Clinton – 45 percent
  • Bernie Sanders – 23 percent

No other declared candidate received more than one percent

“If Vice President Joe Biden were to get into the race right now he would garner the support of 17 percent of registered voters,” Jenkins said.

The poll was conducted by telephone from Oct. 1 through 5, using a randomly selected sample of 824 registered voters nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points.

Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.