The latest on the presidential horse race.

NBC Poll: Hillary Pulls Way Ahead After Christie Scandal

NBC News/Marist, 1/12-1/14

  • Clinton: 50
  • Christie: 37

Hillary Clinton has pulled way ahead of Chris Christie following the Bridgegate scandal that has hit the New Jersey governor hard over the last two weeks, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll. After trailing Christie in the last three polls of the year, the former First Lady has broken open a 13 percent lead over the Republican frontrunner.

Yesterday, we found that Chris Christie has not lost any steam in the race for the Republican nomination despite being embroiled in a scandal for the last two weeks. That’s not surprising since we have seen that the bridge scandal has not affected Christie’s standing among Republicans very much. It has, however, turned off many independents and liberals that had previously shown surprisingly strong support for the moderate Blue State governor.

The poll, conducted between January 12 and 14, sampling 1,039 registered voters, found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by a margin of 50-37 with 13 percent of voters undecided. That is a huge turnaround from what we saw in December when three different polls, one from Quinnipiac, one from CNN, and one from PPP, showed Christie leading by 1-3 points.

Although the bridge scandal hasn’t been disastrous for Christie, with 68 percent of respondents saying the latest scandal doesn’t affect their opinion of him, 20 percent did admit to liking him less in light of the recent allegations. Twenty-six percent of respondents said that Christie comes across as a bully.

With three years out from the election, Christie will have plenty of time to try to make up his standing but the scandal has clearly affected the way many general election voters will view him. He’s also yet to win over more than 20 percent of Republican primary voters in any national poll we’ve seen since November so the Jersey guv could find himself very alienated once the votes actually start being counted.

(Image courtesy of US Embassy New Zealand)