Temperatures may (finally) be warming as one of the coldest winters in recent memory comes to a close. But in terms of voters' feelings, not all political leaders are heading toward spring.
According to a survey out this week showing Quinnipiac University's National Thermometer rankings, voters have cooled on New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of allegations that staffers closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge, seemingly for political retribution, and withheld relief aid following Hurricane Sandy. Christie's administration has denied the Sandy allegations.
Christie scored a 45.2 degree mean temperature in this week’s poll, down from 55.5 degrees at the beginning of the year -- a difference that dropped him from the “hottest” politician in the nation all the way down to ninth place.
But Christie’s loss is Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s gain -- the progressive rising star has secured the top slot in voters' minds. With a 48.6 degree score, Warren is now the hottest political leader in the game.
Despite her popularity, however, it seems many people still don’t know that much about her. Forty-six percent of American voters said they lacked enough information to form an opinion of the Massachusetts senator, according to the poll.
Nipping at Warren’s heels is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who came in at 47.8 degrees with only 1% saying they didn’t know enough about her. Though Clinton still swears she’s not after the presidency, she’s sure talking like a potential 2016 candidate.
The next three slots on the thermometer all belong to Republicans. Fresh off the introduction of his latest budget proposal, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan tops the GOP field with 47.4 degrees. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal follows him with a 47.1 degree score, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker comes in at fifth with 46.6 degrees.
Among Republican voters, however, Walker leads the pack. But at 69.6 degrees, the Wisconsin governor pales in comparison to his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton, who tops the charts among Democratic voters with a 78.7 degree score. As Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, put it in a statement, “It's summertime heat for Democrats in Hillary Clinton's corner,” while Walker “barely breaks free of sweater weather.”