Poll: Majority don't believe Christie, Clinton explanations
March 13th, 2014
09:09 AM ET
9 months ago

Poll: Majority don't believe Christie, Clinton explanations

(CNN) – A majority of Americans don't believe the explanations by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about two controversies that continue to dog them as they seriously consider White House runs, according to a new national poll.

And another new survey indicates Clinton topping Christie by double digits in one of the most important states in the race for the White House.


Sixty-three percent of Americans questioned in a new Bloomberg National Poll say they don't believe the Garden State's Republican governor when he said he knew nothing about the George Washington Bridge controversy.

Christie's administration is facing both federal and state investigations over allegations that some of his aides closed access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge last September to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for not endorsing Christie's re-election. The governor has denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred and has said he knew nothing about any political mischief by members of his administration. But the controversy has put a cloud over Christie's political future.

By a 51%-41% margin, the poll indicates the public doesn't believe the former secretary of state when she says she never saw requests for more security at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi prior to the September 2012 attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead. Some Republicans have hammered Clinton over her handling of the incident.

While Clinton's favorable rating among Americans has slightly edged down from 58% last May to 56% now, the survey indicates Christie's favorable rating has fallen from 50% in June to 32% now.

According to the poll, half of Americans want Clinton to launch a second bid for the White House, with just a quarter saying they would like Christie to run for president. And if the 2016 election were held today with Clinton as the Democratic nominee and Christie as the GOP nominee, the poll indicates Clinton topping Christie 52%-39%.

Clinton makes gains against Christie in Iowa

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, 48% of registered voters in Iowa say they would back Clinton in 2016 if she were the Democratic Party's nominee, with 35% saying they'd support Christie if he were the GOP nominee.

That's a change from Quinnipiac's last Hawkeye State poll, in mid-December, when Christie had a five-point 45%-40% edge over Clinton in the hypothetical battle for Iowa's six electoral votes. Since then, of course, the bridge controversy went viral, landing in the national headlines for weeks in January and February.

New numbers not adding up for Christie

The Quinnipiac poll indicates Clinton also holds double digit leads over three other possible GOP presidential contenders in 2016: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former two-term Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Iowa holds an important spot in presidential politics, as its caucuses kick off the caucus and primary calendar. But the state also plays an important role in general elections, as it's considered a closely watched swing state with six electoral votes up for grabs. President George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in his 2004 re-election victory. Then-Sen. Barack Obama won Iowa by 10-percentage points over Sen. John McCain in 2008. Obama carried the state by a smaller six point margin in his 2012 re-election.

Clinton's dominance in the new Iowa poll comes as Obama's approval rating in the Hawkeye State remains below 40%.

"Politics is a team sport and the head of the blue team, President Barack Obama, isn't doing well in the eyes of Iowans.  But that doesn't seem to be hurting teammate Hillary Clinton who swamps potential 2016 Republican competitors among the same electorate," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 5-10, with 1,411 registered voters in Iowa questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted March 7-10, with 1,001 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Hillary Clinton • Iowa • New Jersey • Polls
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. dave

    t all boils down to partisanship, if they should get the nominations, it will be too close to call all the way up to polls closed. With no real issues being debated it's just another election about nothing. Sort of a popularity contest, or swim suit contest.

    March 13, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Craig in Pa.

    Yeah Maria....I guess we would be sane to elect Ted Cruz in your opinion!

    March 13, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. JohnRJohnson

    Let's see now…. The instruction to remove all references to Al Qaeda and terrorism from the CIA's Benghazi report, which was provided to the White House and State Department, was given by General David Petraeus, head of the CIA. Also, the Joint Chiefs have stated that no "stand down" order was given by ANYONE, including at the State Department or the White House, which stopped any attempt to rescue the Ambassador at the Benghazi consulate. So, basically, all the statements made by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Susan Rice following the attack have been validated. And yet, in their desperation to find scandal, the GOP continues to apply Vladimir Lenin's axiom, that "a lie told enough times becomes the truth".

    March 13, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Brian wrote:

    My local government regularly lies. Why should I believe national politicians dont lie as well?
    -----------------------
    You poor fellow. Life must be challenging living in a red state. Yes, the national politicians from red states have been known on occation to bend and stretch the truth to some extent, too.

    March 13, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. salty dog

    Christie was set up, really, the Democrats sent the emails, son, you need help, badly!

    March 13, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Wake up People!

    Xyzick.....
    A woman died due to an ambulance not being able to get through. In this country, not war torn Libya.

    March 13, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. ghostwriter

    Notice how conservatives are no longer complaining about the IRS woman taking the 5th all of a sudden......right?

    Sooner or later, you guys are gonna wake up.

    March 13, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Brian wrote:

    My local government regularly lies. Why should I believe national politicians dont lie as well?
    -------–
    You poor fellow. Life must be challenging living in a red state. Yes, the national politicians from red states have been known on occation to bend and stretch the truth to some extent, too.
    -----
    Odd... I must have missed the part where Brian said he lived in a red state.

    March 13, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -dave

    t all boils down to partisanship, if they should get the nominations, it will be too close to call all the way up to polls closed. With no real issues being debated it's just another election about nothing. Sort of a popularity contest, or swim suit contest.
    *************
    Neither of these two should be seen in a swim suit. It burns, it burns!!!!

    March 13, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. ion pandele

    Too much noise for too little... Remember the history, things can change and someone else will pop up like an underdog or from community and win the crown. So Hillary was far far away from the scene, what's the problem, while Cristie was right there... That's a smart thinking, I am just stupid and ask why a Secretaty of State didn't answer to the calls for helping an American Ambassador? Simple she should do her job, even she was miles and miles away... If you like, read my book, recently published "Twenty Angels", I am immigrant from communism and I know what is brainwashing ans socialism. I tell you this, it's a nightmare. These are real issues, not just reset a button like with Russia but take action.

    March 13, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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