Poll: Controversies hurt Christie's 2016 standing
January 21st, 2014
02:04 PM ET
9 months ago

Poll: Controversies hurt Christie's 2016 standing

(CNN) – In the wake of ongoing controversies, Gov. Chris Christie's losing ground to a potential 2016 Democratic presidential opponent and to possible GOP rivals, according to a new national poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey also indicates that Christie's standing among voters has dropped, as the Republican Governor from New Jersey has faced multiple controversies the past two weeks, including investigations of the closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, allegedly carried out by top Christie aides as punishment for a New Jersey mayor who didn't endorse Christie's 2013 re-election.

And over the weekend, a different Democratic mayor claimed the Governor used Superstorm Sandy recovery funds as leverage over a stalled development project in her city that Christie supported.

The poll's Tuesday release came as Christie was inaugurated for a second term as Garden State governor, a celebration overshadowed by the controversies and by a powerful winter storm.

According to the survey, Christie, who's seriously considering a White House bid, trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 38%-46%, in a hypothetical 2016 general election matchup. The Governor had a one point 42%-41% margin over Clinton in Quinnipiac polling last month. The biggest shift is among independent voters who were split between Christie and Clinton in December but now go for Clinton by a 15-percentage point margin.

Last month, by a 49%-31% margin, voters said Christie would make a good president. Now they are divided.

"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic, sideswiped by Bridgegate, the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "In the last few months, Quinnipiac University national and state polls showed him inching ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Today, she zips past him. But the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary are still two years down the road."

According to the poll, nearly three-quarters of voters have heard or read about the bridge controversy, with half of those saying the episode damages a potential White House bid by Christie. Three percent say it ends his chances, two percent say it helps them, and nearly two-fifths say the scandal will have no impact on 2016. In a separate question, just over a third say they'd be less likely to vote for Christie because of the controversy, with 56% saying it makes no difference.

While Christie's lost ground to Clinton in a hypothetical matchup, the survey indicates he still performs better against her than any of the other potential GOP White House hopefuls tested.

Following Christie's landslide re-election victory in nearly November, a slew of polls, starting with CNN/ORC International, indicated Christie rising to the top of the list among the potential candidates in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination. But the new Quinnipiac survey suggests the nomination hunt is back to being a wide open race. Christie was in first place, with 17% Republican backing, in December. Now he's down to 12%, basically all tied up with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

As with every previous poll, Clinton remains the overwhelming front runner among potential Democratic White House hopefuls.

The survey also indicates that Christie's favorable rating among voters has dropped to 33% from 47% in December.

The Quinnipiac University survey was conducted January 15-19, well after the bridge controversy had made national headlines, but mostly before the widespread coverage this past weekend of the allegations from Hoboken's mayor. The Quinnipiac analysis is based on telephone interviews of 1,933 registered voters nationwide. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • Polls
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. The REAL Truth...

    It's not as if ANY of them are clean to begin with.. it's all a matter of how well they can cover it up, rinse and spin. While the Dems may feel he's toast, I'd guess there are plenty of rw moderates (notice how there's a serious lack of moderate politico's these days??) who might still vote for him should no evidence be found against him.
    Yet the right wonders why so many folks still support Obama after all THEIR failed witch hunts..

    January 21, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Thomas

    How could such a charming individual become such a bully ?

    The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
    Everybodys out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide

    January 21, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. steve

    The guy is not going to be President. Yes the Washington establishment loves him because he carries the water for the Wall Street and defense industry . He won't survive a Republican primary. He is the epitome of a glutton. He's 200 pounds over weight and is the poster child of a person who doesn't exercise restraint. Now it's discovered that he uses public funds for political purposes.

    January 21, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "How could such a charming individual become such a bully ?"

    Hi political bullying didn't just start. There are stories going all the way back to when he was in college and built a very bullying political machine as student body president.

    January 21, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "America doesn't want the pervert Bill Clinton dropping his pants in the Oval Office spewing all over the place."

    Now now, let's be fair...he kept it to the dress.

    January 21, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Wade

    Hillary is a known liar, accessory to murder in Benghazi, supports men who abuse woman so I doubt that she has a chance of being elected. The Liberals really do not like her they think she is a moderate. if you can imagine that.

    January 21, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    @tim, listen, dropping at home is much better than dropping in Iraq to drain 16 trillion dollar treasury–at least
    That guy left with 600 billion dollar surplus. Where is the surplus, mr. Iraq.

    January 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "Whether you have posted it or not, it does not matter. You defend and carry water for the party, who given their way, would cut every social program for the poor to the bone if not outright eliminate it."

    Or Fair is Fair could go back a few years of Political Ticker comments and review the comments made under that pseudonym she uses and repudiate those comments not made by her. She's made her viewpoints on this forum well known over the years. No one misunderstands her.

    January 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Ol' Yeller

    @Tim

    "Liberals will be looking for free handouts from Clinton. America doesn't want the pervert Bill Clinton dropping his pants in the Oval Office spewing all over the place."

    And I get moderated daily for minor issues, but this guy gets to post this?!!
    Methinks we have a right leaning moderator...

    January 21, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. chuckie

    Yes, let us waste time on moral issues and be diverted from our true interests such as the ever widening income gap, the disappearance of jobs, the failure to find an adequate solution to reasonable health care, the security of our borders, etc. Far Right religious zealots haven't yet figured out this is the trick to keep them under the thrall of those with whom they share no corresponding interest with except for these issues which are personal and subjective.

    January 21, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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