Poll: Clinton clobbers GOP contenders in Iowa

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Hillary Clinton holds substantial leads over several 2016 GOP presidential contenders in Iowa, according to a new poll. 

Clinton leads Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) 48 percent to 35 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. 

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That's a remarkable shift from December, when a Quinnipiac poll found Christie leading Clinton 45 to 40 percent.

Christie has since taken a hit from the George Washington Bridge scandal in which staffers and appointees of the governor appeared to close lanes on the bridge as part of a political vendetta, snarling traffic in the process.

Clinton also leads Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) 49 to 39 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) 51 to 35 percent and former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.) 51 to 37 percent in the poll.

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The poll found only 39 percent of Iowans approve of President Obama’s job performance, but his negative rating doesn’t seem to affect opinions of Clinton. 

"Politics is a team sport and the head of the blue team, President Barack Obama, isn't doing well in the eyes of Iowans. But that doesn't seem to be hurting teammate Hillary Clinton who swamps potential 2016 Republican competitors among the same electorate," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement.

More than half of voters in Iowa, which hosts the first presidential contest in the nation in 2016, say Clinton would make a good president. She was the only potential candidate to receive a positive score in the poll.

Only a quarter of those surveyed said Vice President Biden would make a good president. 

Just over a third of people, 36 percent, say Christie would make a good president. He had been considered the GOP’s likely front-runner before the bridge scandal unfolded.

By contrast, 41 percent say Christie wouldn’t make a good president and 23 percent said they don’t know.