The latest on the presidential horse race.

Rand Paul Dips, Chris Christie Takes Big Lead in New Hampshire Primary

PPP, 1/9-1/12
New Hampshire GOP

  • Christie: 24
  • Paul: 12
  • Bush: 12
  • Huckabee: 11
  • Cruz: 9
  • Rubio: 8
  • Ryan: 4
  • Jindal: 3
  • Walker: 3

Last week we saw that Chris Christie could have some trouble in Iowa, the first caucus in the nation, which could hurt him in the primary schedule. A new Public Policy Polling survey, however, has found that Christie is looking very strong in the New Hampshire primary race, the first primary that will be held in 2016.

The poll, conducted between January 9 and January 12, sampling 528 registered New Hampshire Republicans, found that Christie has a strong lead over the rest of the GOP pack as he sits atop the survey with 24 percent of the vote. That’s a big leap from the 16 percent he saw in October when he was in a virtual tie with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Rand Paul finished a distant second in this poll, only garnering 12 percent of the vote. Since last summer, his poll numbers have now dropped from 19 to 17 to 12. Much of that has to do with the inclusion of more candidates in polls, like Mike Huckabee, rather than declining support.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tied Paul with 12 percent. That’s a solid increase over the 8 percent he had in October. Coming in right behind Paul and Bush was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 11 percent. Huckabee had not been included in New Hampshire polls up to this point but he remains popular in New Hampshire and Iowa after a strong campaign in 2008 that he ultimately lost to John McCain.

Without Mike Huckabee in the race, Christie’s total would go up to 28 percent while Bush and Paul would both go up to 14 percent.

No other candidate earned double-digit support. Texas Senator Ted Cruz received 9 percent but that’s still positive since he only had 6 percent in October and continues to struggle with lack of name recognition since he isn’t as well known outside of southern conservative circles and internet memes.

None of the other candidates made much of a dent as Marco Rubio finished with 8 percent, Paul Ryan finished with 4 percent (down from 9 in October), and Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker finished with 3 percent apiece.

Mired in scandal or not, Christie is clearly the candidate to beat in New Hampshire, a good sign for his potential campaign since he could have trouble winning Iowa.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)