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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a Global Town Townterview at the Newseum in Washington January 29, 2013. The Townterview, a mix of a town hall and television interview, is Clinton's 59th such meeting which comes just before her last day as S
First, the good news for Hillary Clinton in the latest Quinnipiac Poll of Iowa voters on the 2016 presidential contest: She beats all Republicans tested by double-digit margins. The survey, conducted March 5-10, has a margin of error of ±2.6 points and tested the following matchups (December results):
Hillary Clinton: 49 (45)
Rand Paul: 39 (44)

Hillary Clinton: 48 (40)
Chris Christie: 35 (45)

Hillary Clinton: 51 (47)
Jeb Bush: 37 (40)

Hillary Clinton: 51 (48)
Ted Cruz: 35 (41)

As you can see, Clinton's standing improved in each matchup tested by Quinnipiac: A net of 9 points against Paul, 18 points against Christie, 7 points against Bush, and 9 points against Cruz.

And that brings us to the bad news for Chris Christie: The thing that really stands out from the trends is that Christie's drop was significantly bigger than the others, well outside the poll's margin of error, illustrating the fact that his political fortunes really have taken a blow in the wake of his scandals back home.

More evidence of this drop from the poll: By a 41-36 margin, Iowans say he would not be a good president, down from 46-30 margin in December who said he would be a good president. That's a net drop of 21 points in just three months—brutal, to put it simply.

9:06 AM PT: Obviously, Christie's problems aren't limited to Iowa, but this was something of a surprise: His favorability rating is upside down among Republicans nationally in the latest WSJ/NBC poll. 23 percent rate him positively and 29 percent negatively, a net drop of 18 points from January. Chuck Todd and Mark Murray write:

Folks, when is the last time someone viewed as a presidential contender had a net-negative rating WITH HIS OWN PARTY? Yes, it’s possible Christie can recover; you never say never in politics. But Christie’s prospects right now are much worse than some in the political community realize. And that’s before all the investigations into his administration run their full course.
That pretty much sums it up. The equation here is simple: Christie wasn't terribly popular with Republicans even before the scandals thanks to their hateful response to his decision to work with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy. But they still treated him as a contender because they thought he had crossover appeal. But now he doesn't, and he really doesn't have any viable path to get it back, absent another crisis for him to manage. So now, if he wants to run for president, he's going to need a new playbook—and that probably means moving far to the right. It's possible that could work in terms of winning the nomination, but it would seal his defeat in the general. Whatever happens, the odds of him becoming president are dramatically smaller now than they were last November.

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