The bridge closure scandal that has thrust New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie further into the spotlight has improved his standing with voters in the key electoral state of New Hampshire, a new poll show.
A Public Policy Polling survey
conducted Jan. 9-12 shows that Christie currently holds 24 percent support among Republican primary voters — a five point boost since its September poll
when he trailed Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul by one point.
In the current poll, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ties with Paul for second place at 12 percent with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in fourth place with 11 percent. Other potential candidates all come in below 10 percent.
"Bridge-gate doesn't seem to be having much of an impact on Christie's standing yet. 64 percent of Republican primary voters say their opinion of him is the same as it was before last week. 18 percent say their opinion has gotten lower, but almost as many at 14 percent say it's gotten higher," PPP said as it released the poll results.
"And it's not that the story hasn't penetrated yet — 89 percent of GOP voters say that they've heard about the bridge issue, and 68 percent say they've heard 'a lot' about it."
Former first lady Hillary Clinton continues to be the top choice in the Granite State in a 2016 general election match-up. She leads Christie 43 percent to 39 percent, an identical position found in the September poll. She also continues to hold double-digit leads over every other potential Republican and Democratic presidential contender.
Specifically, the poll shows that Hillary Clinton's dominant lead within her own party has hardened since September with 65 percent of the 502 Democratic primary voters surveyed saying they back her, compared to 57 percent who said so in September.
Vice president Joe Biden is at a distant second with 10 percent, while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker are all in single figures.
"Chris Christie isn't suffering any ill effects from Bridge-gate with the Republican base," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "But Hillary Clinton is still by far the strongest 2016 candidate in the state."
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