The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll numbers aren’t going over well in Republican land, as Chris Christie continues to plummet like a rock, and Hillary Clinton has opened up a 12 point lead on the NJ governor.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that the Republican whispers of Benghazi are having little impact on the Clinton express. Former Sec. of State Clinton has a 58% approval rating, and a 38% unfavorable rating. Clinton is blowing out the entire potential 2016 Democratic field. She leads Vice President Biden 73%-12%. She leads Elizabeth Warren 73%-8%.
Over on the Republican side, Chris Christie’s 2016 decline continues to escalate. Christie’s unfavorable rating (40%) is now higher than his favorable rating (35%). Among registered voters the numbers are even worse (43% unfavorable to 36% favorable). Christie has sunk to third in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination. The New Jersey governor trails Paul Ryan by seven points (20%-13%), and Jeb Bush by five points (18%-13%). Christie is danger of falling into fourth place behind Ted Cruz, as the Texas senator only trails him by a single point. The biggest problem for Christie is that more Americans see Bridgegate as a part of a pattern of behavior (46%) than see it as an isolated incident (43%).
The initial line from Republicans was that Christie needed to come out and answer all the media’s questions. They believed that a Christie press conference could make it all go away, but the exact opposite has happened. Questions have continued to grow, and Christie’s 2016 numbers have plunged.
Republicans are starting to realize that Chris Christie, and their 2016 hopes, are in real trouble.
Ron Fournier at the National Journal took back his kind words about Christie in a column today. Fournier wrote, “n other words, how stupid do you think we are, governor? Christie either knew or should have known that his administration was snarling Fort Lee in traffic and endangering lives. Second, the governor’s team is now under siege. Everything they’ve done and will do is cast in suspicion. Accusations that previously might have brought them a benefit of the doubt are now filtered by scandal. Like the Times story today about pressure applied to the Hoboken mayor to support a development project favored by Christie. The leverage his team used against the mayor: flood relief linked to Hurricane Sandy. The Christie administration’s actions were little different from the game-playing of the House Republicans that drew his wrath a year ago. A politician trying to smartly distance himself from Washington can’t be a hypocrite.”
Fournier pointed out that voters aren’t stupid, which got him lambasted in the National Journal’s comment section because Republicans have spent years hanging all of their hopes on the stupidity of the American voter. Fournier is ringing the alarm bells, and a Republican operative was recently quoted by Buzzfeed as saying that Republican donors and fundraisers are jumping off of the Christie 2016 ship.
The new poll numbers are causing a Republican freakout, because the GOP establishment is starting to get a clue that Democrats are putting together a Hillary Clinton juggernaut, while they can’t find a candidate as good as Mitt Romney.
GOP leadership bet everything on Christie, and now he is falling apart. Republicans are looking more and more like they are trapped on the tracks with the Clinton 2016 freight train barreling straight at them.