Clinton's 2016 lead over Christie grows

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has plummeted in the polls and now lags Hillary Clinton in a potential matchup, a reversal of his slight December lead.

A CNN/ORC survey released Monday says 39 percent support Christie, among registered voters nationwide, while Clinton received 55 percent support.

In December, Christie had 48 percent to Clinton’s 46 percent support. 

"Christie has also lost ground among independents, who were the key to his strong showing late last year," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Christie got 59 percent support among Independents in December. Now that has dropped to 39 percent."

The poll is the latest in a series of surveys that have shown Christie’s standing in the 2016 field taking a serious hit from the growing bridge scandal. 

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Last week, a former Christie appointee who resigned as the scandal developed suggested via his lawyer that he had evidence Christie in fact did know about the closures while they were happening, despite Christie’s persistent claims that he knew nothing about them. 

Meanwhile, former Arksansas Gov. Mike Huckabee now leads other potential challengers in the 2016 Republican race, the poll suggests. Fourteen percent of Republicans and independents support Huckabee, who previously ran for the White House in 2008. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came in second among Republicans with 13 percent support while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Christie were tied at ten percent.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) both registered at nine percent.

The poll indicates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) trail other Republicans.

Despite Christie’s drop in the polls, he’s the one Republican who holds the tightest gap in a potential match-up with Clinton.

Clinton has a 20-point lead over Bush, 18 points over Paul, is 17 points above Huckabee and 15 over Ryan.

The survey was conducted among 1,010 adults nationwide from Jan. 31-Feb. 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.