Traffic Scandal Dims Christie’s 2016 Hopes, Poll Says

The Republican is taking on water as he starts his second term as New Jersey's governor

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions have been measurably hurt by a scandal in which aides snarled traffic in a town as an apparent act of political payback, according to a new poll.

The a Quinnipiac University survey—released just moments before Christie, a Republican, was sworn into a second term in office—found that Americans are almost evenly split on the question of whether Christie would make a good president. That’s a sharp fall since a November poll, when 49 percent thought he would and 31 percent thought he wouldn’t.

“Christie’s 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic,” said Tim Malloy, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s assistant director.

He also trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 matchup, 46 percent to 38 percent, after the two were deadlocked in a poll before the scandal broke.

The national survey of 1,933 registered voters, conducted Jan.15 to Jan. 19, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.