Hillary Crushes Christie in New Presidential Poll

Image: Hillary Crushes Christie in New Presidential Poll

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 01:01 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would pull off a big victory against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie if the 2016 presidential election were held today, a new poll has found.

According to a Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,933 registered voters nationwide, 46 percent said they would choose the former first lady, compared to 38 percent who would back Christie. In a Quinnipiac survey in December, Christie was leading Clinton by 1 percentage point: 42 percent to 41 percent.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

More importantly, the poll shows a severe erosion for Christie among independent voters, who until recently were a key part of his base. In December, independents backed him by 47 percent compared to 32 percent for Clinton. In the latest poll, Christie's support among independents has fallen to 40 percent compared to 41 percent who now say they would back Clinton.

The results are one of the earliest signs that the bridge-gate controversy could take a toll on Christie's presidential ambitions.

"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic, sideswiped by bridge-gate, 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."

Meanwhile, 73 percent of all voters say they have read or heard something about the bridge scandal, according to the poll; 50 percent say it damages Christie's 2016 chances. Another 3 percent say it ends his chances, 2 percent say it helps, and 39 percent say the scandal has no impact.

A full 34 percent of respondents in the poll said the controversy makes them less likely to vote for Christie, though 56 percent say it makes no difference.

Nevertheless, Christie still does better against Democrat Clinton than all other possible GOP contenders. Clinton leads 49 percent to 39 percent in a match-up against Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 50 percent to 35 percent against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and 49 percent to 38 percent head-to-head against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Clinton also has a massive lead over every other possible Democratic contender, with 65 percent of all Democrats saying they back her. Vice President Joe Biden would get 8 percent support, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren drew 7 percent support in the poll, and every other possible contender drew 3 percent or below. Thirteen percent of the survey participants who identified as Democrats say they still remain undecided.

The poll also indicates that Christie would likely face a competitive GOP primary contest.

Paul and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan each tie at 13 percent support, compared to Christie at 12 percent and Bush at 11 percent. All other possible GOP candidates drew less than 10 percent support, while 22 percent of Republicans who were polled say they are undecided.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

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