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. jimsoutlook

    Anyone who supports Christie now, must hate this country.

    January 21, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. much thunder...little rain

    all you read about is christie..how about gov.como saying pro life, pro gun, and pro straight family citizens of new york arent welcome and need to leave...not much said about that scarey comment

    January 21, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    It should be extremely fun watching what the hacks at Faux and CNN et al come up with after their convulsions stop. How will they "balance" their immediate need for controversy narratives with their long-term need for a GOP candidate that can actually provide a horse race narrative in 2016? Stay tuned....

    January 21, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. current state of the union

    All I can think of is a roadrunner, Wylie coyote cartoon, the anvil dropping from high above, see ya Christie, its all downhill from here big guy!

    January 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    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.
    -----------------------------------
    What a difference a month makes. He's tanking almost as fast as Weiner did.

    January 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Is this guy for President? Then I will be VP. Pathetic even to think of......

    January 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. John, PA

    controversies, more like LIES so this does not hurt Christie's chances; however; the unemployment rate at 37.2% is going to bust the Democratic party bubble!

    January 21, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    It's Obama's fault!

    There you go haters, I started you off.

    January 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Krispy never was the choice of billionaires. He was , however, the choice of Roger Ailes at Fox. Single issue Baggers and Birthers were not happy with Krispy, because he hugged Obama, so they would never support him no matter what.

    January 21, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. current state of the union

    So let me get this right, the airhead know nothing from Alaska was a viable gop vice presidential candidate, but Christie was not, speaks volumes. Tunis is a smear campaign, clearly the dems put his office up to this. Man if you only knew how bad/ clueless you sound trying to defend thus thug, sad, truly is.

    January 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    It's hard when a BIG Guy falls...Christie is falling like a sack of rocks...well, it's Obama's faullt! LMAO

    January 21, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. The REAL Truth...

    gotta love the rwnj's... when it's about Obama and his administration, of course it has to be true, and he's lying covering it up, defending blah, blah, blah, and it's all true. As soon as it's about a Republican – even one whom you would never voted as a Presidential nominee – then of course it's a witch hunt. Yawn.

    January 21, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. current state of the union

    Were all expecting that breaking news story about Christie, but he is a lawyer, and they will spend whatever it takes to save and protect him. They make him out to be the victim, but I'm pretty sure were gonna pass on this guy. I've dated some questionable women, and they have a knack for always being the victim, but this is what the gop does best, lord knows they have been practicing. I noticed when Aden gets caught, they apologize, then resign, not the gop, they explain how they have been the real victims

    January 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Gov Christie's run for president is over and Democrats didn't have to resort to Republican style dirty 'swift boat" attacks.

    January 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Jay Adams

    Christie or clinton.. reguardless who wins we all lose

    January 21, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Peace

    Bye bye Krispy. We are now left with the Clintons vs the Bushes. Myself I do not care about the names. What I care is to get a different person from the ones we had before though they bear same family names.

    January 21, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. current state of the union

    Yup, over before it started, he won't make it through the primaries, no way. And of course the gop want an end to the primary process, they know once the dirt flies, they won't have a winner.

    January 21, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. current state of the union

    John pa. Don't know how to break it to you, but, uh, he's toast!

    January 21, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Ol' Yeller

    "gotta love the rwnj's... when it's about Obama and his administration, of course it has to be true, and he's lying covering it up, defending blah, blah, blah..."

    Oh yes, they make something small... like for example, let's just a website experiencing some problems and it is "OMG- END OF THE WORLD. OBAMA IS SATAN!!!"(Loud screaming shrill language and if you try to say something, they just get louder and shriller).
    However, if it is one of their guys and he has just been caught kneeling over the dead body with blood on his hands and a video on his phone of him stabbing the person and he submits a written and notarized affidavitt admitting guilt, they all of the sudden do not want to 'jump to conclusions' and we need to 'slow down' and it is a 'witch hunt'.
    They are amusing little creatures.

    January 21, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. current state of the union

    I knew once he said " this does not define my administration", that it likely did, and it has proven to be an accurate definition of his administration indeed.

    January 21, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. rs

    Considering there was little to make Christie look acceptable was that he was one of very few on the Right who didn't mindlessly attack the functioning of the federal government or the President of the United States to further his cause, it wasn't going to take much to sink him. Now, if he is found innocent of the mess that now seems to be NJ politics, he could be set for a rebound. We'll just have to wait and see.

    January 21, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. 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.

    January 21, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    --listen, truth of the matter, since no viable guy from GOP cult there they settled with Criss Christie. Not that teatrolls love this big fat dude. Well, he changed his tunes too according to their whim.

    January 21, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. current state of the union

    I don't know rs, I don't see anything that would change my mind, he's at least incompetent . Of course the right will annoint him if he escapes, but that don't make him innocent, just extra greasy. But we both know, you never know, look at Florida, you would think the guy would be doing decades behind bars, but hes a governor.

    January 21, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Why blame the liberals? Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and the Teahaddist rwnj are happy with Chris Christie falling poll numbers...is Rush diablo a liberal now? LMAO

    January 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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