Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 prospects looked strong in December, before the “Bridgegate” scandal erupted.
But three months later, the New Jersey Republican’s polling lead has evaporated in Iowa, whose first-in-the-nation caucuses kick off the presidential nominating contest.
While a December survey put Christie ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton, a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows Christie’s lead eviscerated.
According to Quinipiac, the former Secretary of State is leading 48% to Christie’s 35% in Iowa, reversing the 45%-40% lead the New Jersey governor enjoyed in December.
With Christie’s lead eliminated, Clinton now holds a double-digit advantage over every Republican candidate polled. The election is more than two years away and none of these candidates have even announced their candidacy, but it indicates how the scandal that’s enveloped Christie and his top aides will play on the national stage.
It’s clear that the scandal has marred Christie’s reputation with Independents. While Christie enjoyed a 44%-35% lead with the group in December, the most recent poll shows Clinton earning their votes by a 46-32 margin.
“Who said, ‘All politics is local?’ Secretary Clinton is benefiting from the fallout after a traffic jam a thousand miles away,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a release. “When Quinnipiac University surveyed Iowans last December, Gov. Christopher Christie was the lead reindeer. But after the coverage of the George Washington Bridge lane closures, his nose is not so bright. Like the other GOP hopefuls, he now trails Clinton by double digits.”