A new presidential match-up poll has Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by 16 points, as he struggles to deal with the bridge-gate affair that threatens his political future.
The survey also shows that she would beat all other Republican presidential candidate by at least 17 points if the election were held today.
A CNN/ORC survey of 1,010 adults
released Monday found that Clinton now leads the Republican governor 55 percent to 39 percent, Politico reports
The poll taken Jan. 31-Feb. 2 marks a dramatic turnabout for Christie who last month actually led Clinton in a similar nationwide CNN poll by a margin of 48 percent to 46 percent and was considered at the time the top potential GOP contender for the 2016 presidential race.
But Christie continues to hemorrhage support over the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal
, which allegedly was ordered by aides in his office as political retaliation against a local mayor. Christie reiterated again Monday night during a radio "Ask the Governor" call-in show that he had no knowledge of or involvement in the lane closures, which caused a massive traffic jam last September on the bridge that links Manhattan and New Jersey.
The CNN poll shows key Christie supporters, independent voters, becoming disenchanted with him. In the latest survey, the governor drew 39 percent of their support compared to December when 59 percent of independent respondents said they would back his candidacy.
There was also more bad news for Christie in the CNN survey, which showed that he has fallen from grace with Republicans nationwide — at least for the moment.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was a also 2008 presidential candidate, appears to be the new frontrunner in the potential 2016 GOP field among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. In the CNN/ORC survey he was favored by 14 percent of Republican-leaning respondents, compared to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with 13 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Christie at 10 percent, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 9 percent each.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with Texas Gov. Rick Perry each drew 8 percent support, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pulled 4 percent.
Still, Clinton would face no tougher opponent among Republicans than Christie. She leads all the other potential GOP rivals by at least a 17 percent margin.
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