The latest on the presidential horse race.

Chris Christie Keeps Lead in GOP Poll Following Scandal

NBC News/Marist, 1/12-1/14

  • Christie: 16
  • Ryan: 12
  • Paul: 9
  • Bush: 8
  • Rubio: 7
  • Perry: 6
  • Santorum: 5
  • Cruz: 5
  • Walker: 4
  • Jindal: 3
  • Undecided: 25

Despite being linked to several scandals over the last two weeks, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has maintained his lead in the Republican nomination race, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.

The poll, conducted between January 12 and 14, sampling 385 registered Republican voters, found that Chris Christie remains in the lead in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination with 16 percent of the vote, four points ahead of second-place finisher Paul Ryan. Christie had been at a similar 16-19 percent over the last three polls in December so he does not appear to have taken a big electoral hit as of yet. In the last Marist poll in December, Christie had 18 percent of the vote.

While the news was good for Christie, it was even better for Paul Ryan who has suddenly leapfrogged the other candidates and finds himself in second place with 12 percent of the vote. The Wisconsin Congressman creeped up from 9-10 percent in most December and fall polls to 12 percent in the last two polls we’ve seen while the other candidates’ support keeps being watered down by the large number of potential candidates in the race.

The news was worst for Tea Party candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Paul, who has been very close to Christie in most polls, found himself with just 9 percent of the vote after receiving 12 percent in Marist’s December poll and more than 15 percent in November. Ted Cruz fared even worse as the Texas Senator placed eighth in the poll with a mere 5 percent. He had received 10 percent in the last Marist poll and as much as 14 percent in three other December polls.

Jeb Bush finished fourth in the poll with 8 percent, Marco Rubio trailed him with 7 percent, Rick Perry received 6 percent, Rick Santorum received 5 percent, Scott Walker received 4 percent, and Bobby Jindal received 3 percent. In the last poll in December, 21 percent of voters said they prefer someone else or are undecided. In this poll, 25 percent of GOP voters now say they are undecided.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)