PPP's newest look at the 2016 race in New Hampshire finds that Chris Christie is actually in a stronger position with Republican voters now following Bridgegate than he was on our last poll in September. Christie leads the GOP field with 24% to 12% each for Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, 11% for Mike Huckabee, 9% for Ted Cruz, 8% for Marco Rubio, 4% for Paul Ryan, and 3% each for Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker.
Christie's 12 point lead now is a big turn around from September when he actually trailed Paul by a point at 20/19. Since then Christie's gained 5 points, while Paul has fallen by 8. Everyone else tested is within a few points of where they were on our last poll. Christie is weak with voters identifying themselves as 'very conservative,' getting only 6% to 24% for Cruz, 20% for Paul, and 15% for Huckabee. But he makes up for that because of his strength with moderates (39% to 13% for Bush and 10% each for Paul and Rubi0), and with voters identifying themselves as 'somewhat conservative' (26% to 15% for Huckabee and 10% for Bush.)
Bridgegate doesn't seem to be having much of an impact on Christie's standing yet. 64% of Republican primary voters say their opinion of him is the same as it was before last week. 18% say their opinion has gotten lower, but almost as many at 14% say it's gotten higher. And it's not that the story hasn't penetrated yet- 89% of GOP voters say that they've heard about the bridge issue, and 68% say they're heard 'a lot' about it.
There's not a ton of variability in favorability numbers for the different candidates. Paul, Christie, Bush, Huckabee, and Ryan all have favorabilities in the 50-60% range. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are in the 40s, and Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker are in the 30s but that's mostly because they don't have very high name recognition.
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton is looking even more dominant now than she did in September. Then she was the choice of 57% of Democratic primary voters to be their candidate in 2016, now she's up to 65%. Joe Biden at 10%, Elizabeth Warren at 8%, Andrew Cuomo at 3%, Cory Booker at 2%, Kirsten Gillibrand and Martin O'Malley at 1%, and Brian Schweitzer and Mark Warner at less than 1% round out the field.
If Clinton sits it out Joe Biden remains the favorite, but the gap between him and Elizabeth Warren continues to get smaller. He led her by 16 points in September, now it's down to 11 points with Biden at 32%, Warren at 21%, Cuomo at 9%, Booker and Gillibrand at 4%, O'Malley at 2%, and Schweitzer and Warner each at 1%. Biden's favorability with primary voters is 67/19, Warren isn't far behind at 64/13.
Warren continues to be the clear favorite in a New Hampshire field devoid of both Clinton and Biden. She gets 30% to 19% for Cuomo, 9% for Booker, 5% for O'Malley, 4% for Gillibrand, and 2% each for Schweitzer and Warner.
Clinton continues to be the favorite for a general election in New Hampshire. She leads Christie 43/39, numbers identical to what they were on our last poll in September. She holds double digit advantages over the rest of the Republican candidate field- it's 11 points over Jeb Bush at 49/38, 13 points over Rand Paul at 50/37, and 19 points over Ted Cruz at 51/32.
Full results here