Quinnipiac published results of a new poll Monday which finds Chris Christie is the “hottest” national political figure in the country. Christie beats potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton by one degree, 53.1 to 52.1.
The Quinnipiac poll asks respondents to give a number between 0-100 when read a list of names. The higher the number the more positive their feelings about that person. The final score is the mean of all the responses. Christie and Clinton were the only two national political figures who topped 50 in the final results for all respondents.
However the nature of support for the two 2016 rivals was very different. Clinton received strong support from Democrats, with a mean rating of 77.7 out of 100. That put her in first place ahead of both President Obama and VP Biden among Democrats. However, as might be expected, Hillary did not elicit positive feelings from Republicans, garnering a 31.6 score. Only the President, Vice President and Democratic leaders in Congress Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) scored lower.
Meanwhile Christie did not come in at the top among Republican respondents. His score of 59.8 was strongly positive but only good enough for 8th place. Politicians who beat him in the estimation of Republican respondents included Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Scott Walker and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The reason Christie did so well overall is that he came in first place among independent voters with a score of 50.6. In addition, Christie was given surprisingly high marks by Democrats, with a score of 53.2. Simply put, Christie is far less polarizing than other figures on both sides.
The new Quinnipiac poll confirms data gathered in a poll last month. That poll also found that Christie was unique among national political figures of either party in having net support from both Republicans and Democrats.
As for the losers in the new poll, the four individuals with the lowest
overall scores were the Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress.
In order of declining popularity, those were Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Mitch
McConnell, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).