Christie narrowly leads in new 2016 GOP poll

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in a statistical dead heat for the GOP presidential nomination with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump gets little backing from Silicon Valley Lawmakers amplify criticism of US support for Saudi bombing campaign How Breitbart turned on Ted Cruz MORE (Ky.), according to a new poll.

A Fox News poll released Wednesday night found Christie pulling in 15 percent in a potential GOP primary. Bush and Paul each bring in 14 percent.

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Christie's position is largely unchanged since the last time Fox polled the question in late December when the New Jersey governor garnered 16 percent.

Since then, he has faced questions about his involvement in the closures of toll lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year, which were closed down in an apparent act of political retribution against a local mayor who did not endorse Christie's reeelction bid. 

Christie fired his deputy chief of staff after emails were released suggesting her involvement, but he has maintained he had no prior knowledge of the closure. An internal probe launched by lawyers hired by Christie found no evidence that he was involved. 

His favorable rating stands at 36 percent, while 38 percent see him as unfavorable. Eleven percent could not say, while 15 percent of those polled had never heard of him. 

No other potential GOP candidate brings in double digits in the potential primary, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanVA to ban large-scale display of Confederate flag in cemeteries Trump aide accused Catholics of backing immigration to boost church GOP is calling for IPAB repeal for the wrong reasons MORE (9 percent), Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioThe Trail 2016: Trump works to widen his appeal Rubio primary challenger loans campaign M Trump-Clinton race redraws battle for Electoral College MORE (8 percent), Texas Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzConway, Kelly clash over Trump’s use of personal insults Top aide: Trump 'doesn't hurl personal insults' New Trump campaign manager called on him to release tax returns in April MORE (7 percent), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (5 percent), or former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (5 percent).

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was not included in the poll. He has either led or been near the top of the pack in other recent polling. 

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHannity to protesters: 'All lives matter' Trump will meet with Latino, black activists Thursday Poll: Clinton tied with Trump in SC MORE continued to dominate Vice President Biden in a hypothetical primary, 69 percent to 14 percent. 

If Clinton and Bush advance to the general election in 2016, 42 percent of voters would see both parties as controlled by "family dynasties," while 36 percent would see the candidates as "strong alternatives."

The poll surveyed 1,012 registered voters, including 395 Democrats and 384 Republicans. It has a 5-percentage-point margin of error. 

 

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