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The latest CNN/ORC Poll shows Hillary Clinton opening up a big gain over Governor Christie in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match up.


In a possible 2016 match up with Clinton, the poll indicates Christie trails the former secretary of state by 16 percentage points, with Clinton at 55% and the Governor at 39% among registered voters nationwide. That's a dramatic switch from December, when Christie held a 48%-46% edge over Clinton.

"Christie has also lost ground among independents, who were the key to his strong showing late last year," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.  "Christie got 59% support among Independents in December.  Now that has dropped to 39%." ...

CNN goes out on a limb and speculates that the large drop in Governor Christie's numbers may be related to the barrage of allegations of scandals against Christie over the last month.  

Mike Huckabee has replaced Chris Christie as the leading GOP candidate pulling in 14% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is next at 13% followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Christie tied at 10%. ... Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are tied at 9%. ... One point behind are Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and longtime Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate, stands at 4%.

I should point out that with two years to go before the 2016 election polling numbers can change, but, this poll is still interesting barometer of how the various allegations against Governor Christie are affecting public opinion.

Surprisingly, I've read three articles today bringing up Mitt Romney's name as a possible candidate, including CNN's Wolfe Blitzer.  

Romney's lips say no, but his eyes say yes. He may be the GOP's strongest candidate at this point.

Poll

Who do you expect the GOP to nominate in the 2016 presidential election?

8%10 votes
11%14 votes
11%14 votes
32%39 votes
1%2 votes
5%6 votes
3%4 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes
0%0 votes
10%13 votes
8%10 votes

| 119 votes | Vote | Results

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