New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's popularity has surged since last summer, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's lead among potential 2016 presidential candidates has narrowed, a new poll has found.
According to a Fox News
poll of 1,012 registered voters nationwide, 46 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of Christie, compared to 20 percent who view the Republican unfavorably, a 16 percent increase since August 2012.
Meanwhile, the poll conducted June 22-24 showed that Clinton's positive approval rating had dropped 7 points since last summer to 56 percent, compared to 38 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of her.
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Still, the Democrat continues to be the most popular of all potential candidates for the White House in 2016, according to the survey, and her positive rating even outstrips President Barack Obama's. His rating dipped into the negative for the first time in the Fox poll, with 51 percent now having an unfavorable view of him while 47 percent still see him in favorable light.
Notably, the survey found that almost all of the improvement in Christie's favorability numbers comes from a 31 percent increase in positive views among Democrats and a 13 percent increase in positive views from independents. Forty-seven percent of Democrats have a positive view of the governor, according to the survey, almost matching the 49 percent of Republicans who have a favorable view as well.
By contrast, 86 percent of Democrats have a positive view of Clinton while just 25 percent of Republicans see her in a positive light.
On the back of national news coverage of Hurricane Sandy and the special Senate election in New Jersey, Christie's name identification has also jumped. Just 21 percent of voters say they "never heard" of Christie, a drop of 11 points.
In a match-up with other potential GOP presidential candidates, Christie leads by a considerable margin.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul drew a 37 percent favorability rating from the Fox poll, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush got 34 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got 29 percent.
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