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Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton Leading the 2016 Packs in New Hampshire

January 15, 2014 - 6:00pm

A poll released Thursday shows Republicans with ties to the Sunshine State in position in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie begins to slip. Christie remains under scrutiny after it was revealed members of his administration caused traffic nightmares by closing lanes near the George Washington Bridge, allegedly as political payback.

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll showing Christie leads in New Hampshire with 24 percent followed by former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tied for second each with 12 percent. PPPs last look at the 2016 Republican primary in New Hampshire found Paul leading with 20 percent followed by Christie with 19 percent.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who moved to Florida after his 2008 presidential bid, took 11 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, with 9 percent and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., with 8 percent.

Other candidates follow in low single digits. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., takes 4 percent, while two governors -- Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin -- get 3 percent apiece.

When Huckabee is taken out of the mix, Christie and Ryan are helped more than the other candidates, while Rubio gets no additional support. In that scenario, Christie leads with 28 percent followed by Bush and Paul still tied for second with 14 percent each. Cruz moves up to 10 percent, while Pauls support more than doubles to 9 percent. Rubio stays at 8 percent; Jindal and Walker remain in the rear with 4 percent each.

New Hampshire Republicans are following the Christie controversy with more than two-thirds of those surveyed -- 68 percent -- saying they have heard a lot about it.

Chris Christie isnt suffering any ill effects from Bridgegate with the Republican base, said Dean Debnam, president of PPP, on Thursday.

The poll finds Paul is seen as favorable by the most Republicans, with 56 percent viewing him favorably. Christie is viewed as favorable by 53 percent, while 52 percent see Huckabee and Bush as favorable. Bush has fewer Republicans seeing him in a negative light, with only 14 percent having an unfavorable impression.

The poll of 528 New Hampshire Republicans was taken Jan. 9-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to control the Granite State. She leads the pack with 65 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 10 percent and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in third with 8 percent. The rest of the field is in low single digits. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York takes 3 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., with 2 percent and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley with 1 percent each. Former Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., take less than 1 percent. Both Booker and Warner have played down talk of running for president in 2016.

When Clinton is taken out of the mix, Biden moves up to take the lead with 32 percent. Warren is a sold second with 21 percent followed by Cuomo in third with 9 percent. Booker and Gillibrand take 4 percent each while OMalley has the support of 2 percent and Schweitzer is tied with Warner at the bottom with 1 percent each.

If both Clinton and Biden stay out of the race, Warren leads with 30 percent followed by Cuomo with 19 percent and Booker with 9 percent. OMalley takes 5 percent in this scenario, followed by Gillibrand with 4 percent and Schweitzer and Warner still lagging with 2 percent each.

The poll of 502 New Hampshire Democrats was taken from Jan. 9-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

Clinton leads each of the top Republicans, though Christie comes closest to beating her in possible general election match-ups. Clinton beats Christie 43 percent to 39 percent. She tops Bush 49 percent to 38 percent and does even better against other Republicans, beating Paul by 13 percent and Cruz by 19 percent.

Hillary Clinton is still by far the strongest 2016 candidate in the state, Debnam insisted.

The poll of 1,354 New Hampshire voters was taken from Jan. 9-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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