Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political magic continues to fade as many voters in both parties are reassessing his fitness to run for president.
In the latest piece of bad news for the governor since the eruption of the “Bridgegate” scandal, Christie has suffered a reverse of political fortune in Iowa in early polling on the 2016 presidential campaign.
A new survey by Quinnipiac University shows Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton leading Christie in the Hawkeye State, 48 percent to 35 percent. That contrasts with Christie’s 45 percent to 40 percent lead over the former First Lady and Secretary of State Dec. 17.
Asked whether Christie would make a good president, 36 percent of all voters surveyed said yes he would, while 41 percent said no. Barely more than half of all the Republicans interviewed said they thought he would make a good president, while 26 percent said he would not.
By contrast, two thirds of Republicans agreed that two of Christie’s potential GOP rivals - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Florida governor Jeb Bush - would make a good chief executive, while 50 percent said that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would also make a good president.
Christie’s once-soaring ambition to parlay a strong showing as a governor with a bipartisan following into a front-running presidential candidate began to falter in the wake of allegations that top deputies engineered a massive traffic jam on an entrance to the George Washington Bridge to retaliate against a Democratic mayor who declined to endorse Christie’s reelection in November.
"Who said, 'all politics is local'? Secretary Clinton is benefitting from the fallout after a traffic jam a thousand miles away," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Earlier this week, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that positive feelings about Christie are eroding across the board — even among his once-loyal base of Republicans and Northeasterners.
Overall, the potential 2016 contender was viewed positively by 17 percent and negatively by 32 percent in the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. That’s a stark contrast from October, when the Republican governor was on the verge of a landslide re-election on Democratic turf and viewed positively by 33 percent and negatively by 17 percent.
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