On Wednesday, NBC/Marist released their latest poll. The poll asked people a series of questions, mostly relating to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the upcoming Presidential election in 2016. The results showed that real damage has been done to Christie’s hopes of running for President in 2016. Just last month, before the entire Bridgegate scandal unraveled, Christie trailed Hillary Clinton by only three points, 48-45. In this latest poll, Clinton has widened the gap to thirteen points, 50-37.
There is little to no positive information that the Christie camp can take away from this poll. Overall, among registered voters, Christie is scoring a net negative in the favorability department, as 29% have a favorable view of him compared to 32% seeing him unfavorably. 39% responded that they are unsure or never heard of him. Meanwhile, Clinton has a large net positive, as 51% have a favorable view against 39% who see her in a negative light.
As for Republicans, they are still unsure who they want to support for the GOP nomination. There wasn’t much movement for Christie from last month’s poll, but the field is still very crowded. While the Democratic nomination is Clinton’s to lose, Republicans still have no idea who is their favorite candidate. Christie still leads the filed with 16%, with Paul Ryan close behind at 12%. Others with single-digit support are Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal. All this really means is that we will once again have a super-crowded stage at the GOP Primary debates. Be prepared for the clown show!
Regarding Bridgegate, 75% of registered voters said that they had heard of the story. 20% of voters said that they like him less based on what they heard compared with 5% who like him more. Most people responded that their opinion of him had not changed, but this did show that there was a net negative of 15% regarding change of opinion, which does not help when you are preparing for a Presidential run. On top of that, 32% of registered voters feel that Christie is not telling the truth about everything he knows regarding the lane closures. Further, 26% of voters feel he is a bully, though 49% say he is just a strong leader. Still, that is a large percentage of people seeing him in a negative light.
The main takeaway from this poll is that Christie’s chances of gaining the GOP nomination for 2016 have dropped precipitously. His main appeal for hardcore conservatives was his electability in a general election against Clinton. With that now out the window, it appears that the GOP establishment is going to start looking for a new person to get behind. It seems wholly possible that with Christie dropping in the polls due to his scandals, the Republicans will throw out a far-right, Tea Party candidate in 2016 like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio or even Ted Cruz. If that is the case, Clinton will win by an even bigger margin than Barack Obama in 2008.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).