The latest on the presidential horse race.

Chris Christie Falls to Third in GOP Primary Poll as Ryan, Paul Rise

Quinnipiac, 1/15-1/19

  • Ryan: 13
  • Paul: 13
  • Christie: 12
  • Bush: 11
  • Cruz: 9
  • Rubio: 8
  • Walker: 6
  • Jindal: 3

Last week, it appeared that Chris Christie’s standing as the frontrunner in the GOP primary was safe despite the scandals he’s been embroiled in over the last couple of weeks. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, it turns out the extended coverage of the scandals, and even more piling up, have hit Christie in a big way as the New Jersey Governor finds himself in third place in the nomination race for the first time since the summer

The poll, conducted between January 15 and January 19, sampling 813 registered Republican voters, found a massive electoral shift in the GOP nomination race as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul finished in a first place tie with 13 percent of the vote. Christie came in third, although well within the margin of error, with 12 percent.

This represents a major change from the last Quinnipiac poll in December that found Christie leading the pack with 17 percent while Paul trailed with 14 percent and Ryan was way back with 9 percent.

Jeb Bush placed fourth with 11 percent, the same amount of support polls showed in December.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz lost some ground as he finished fifth with just 9 percent. In December, this same poll found him in third place with 13 percent.

It’s important to note that the poll didn’t include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who could be a major player in the race if he decides to run.

The rest of the GOP pack remain longshots. Florida Senator Marco Rubio received 8 percent, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received 6 percent, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had just 3 percent. Twenty-two percent of voters are now undecided, that’s up from 17 percent in December.

Clearly, a candidate can only be mired in scandal for so long before he becomes the “scandal candidate.” Although Republicans didn’t abandon ship after Bridgegate, many are now turned off or undecided following many other revelations that some perceive make Christie look like a “bully.” He’s still polling close to the top but, if this drop is consistent across the other polls, Christie could have just went from frontrunner to “just another candidate.”

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)