Poll: Christie deficit against Clinton jumps to 21 points

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) saw his deficit in a 2016 presidential matchup against Hillary Clinton balloon to 21 points, according to a new national poll. 

A Marist-McClatchy poll released Tuesday found 58 percent of people would support Hillary Clinton in a general election race, while 37 percent would support Christie. 

Christie’s poll numbers have been struggling since revelations that a staffer in his administration had a hand in the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year. The state legislature and the U.S. attorney in New Jersey are looking into the closures. 

The new poll shows his ratings have sunk even lower after subsequent allegations from a port authority official that Christie knew about the closures while they were ongoing, contrary to previous statements. 

Christie has denied any involvement in the closures. 

Shortly after the initial scandal broke, a similar McClatchy poll found him trailing Clinton by 13 points. That number has increased to 21 points four weeks later. 

The number of people who believe Christie is telling the truth about having no involvement in the scandal is about the same as last month, at 47 percent. But the number of people who believe he is lying has shot up 15 percent, meaning some who were undecided have now come out against him.  

He fares worse against Clinton in a general-election race than every other potential candidate polled, except former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. 

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) trails Clinton in a hypothetical matchup by 8 points — 44 percent to 52 percent. 

Other potential rivals — including GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas), former Gov. Arkansas Mike Huckabee and Palin — trail by double-digit margins. Palin trails Clinton by 27 points. 

Christie continues to top the field of Republicans in a potential 2016 GOP primary with 13 percent, with Huckabee matching that number. 

The poll surveyed 1,197 people last week and holds a 2.8-percent margin of error. 

Despite his dropping poll numbers, Christie has led the Republican Governors Association to its largest January fundraising total yet, bringing in $6 million, the group announced. Christie is the chairman of the group.  

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