Christie plummets in new poll, now trails Clinton in matchup

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has plummeted since the George Washington Bridge scandal in a head-to-head match-up against Hillary Clinton, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Christie dropped 9 percentage points in the poll, and now trails Clinton 46 percent to 38 percent in a potential general election matchup. That reverses a December poll that showed Christie leading Clinton 42 percent to 41 percent. 

The biggest turnaround comes from independent voters. Christie bested Clinton among independents by 15 percentage points in December. Now he trails her by 1 percentage point.

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The amount of voters who believe Christie would make a good president has also dropped by 14 points in a month. Thirty-five percent of people think he would make a good president — down from 49 percent in December. 

Thirty-six percent of voters think he would not make a good president, up from 31 percent last month. 

Even with his falling numbers, Christie still ranks ahead of other potential GOP candidates in a match-up against Clinton. 

In a potential primary, Christie ranks in third place with 12 percent of the vote, behind Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Those numbers are largely unchanged from last month. 

Christie apologized to voters in his state after emails revealed a top staffer was involved in a plan to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year as apparent political retribution on a local mayor.

He has fired a top staffer and said he had no prior knowledge of the closures.

New allegations from a separate mayor broke over the weekend. The mayor of Hoboken, N.J., accused Christie’s administration of threatening to hold up Hurricane Sandy relief funds, unless a private development was approved. Officials named by the Hoboken mayor have said the allegation is baseless.

Much of the poll was conducted before those allegations were made.  

Seventy-three percent of voters have heard something about the bridge scandal. And a majority of that group believes it damages Christie's 2016 ambitions. Thirty-four percent of people are less inclined to vote for him because of the scandal, while 39 percent said it does not affect their decision. 

The poll surveyed 1,933 national voters and has a 2.2 percent margin of error.