Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Poll Finds Christie Slipping in N.H

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Poll Finds Christie Slipping in N.H

Article excerpt

A new poll of Republican primary voters released Monday showed that Governor Christie's momentum in New Hampshire might be slipping after small gains put him on opponents' attack radar.

At the same time, rival Sen. Marco Rubio announced a New Jersey leadership team that includes a Bergen County mayor and the chairman of the county's Hispanic Republican Association.

Christie spent the day in Trenton dealing with legislative matters and preparing for the State of the State speech he will give today. He is due to return to New Hampshire on Wednesday, and a new poll highlighted the distance he still must cover in less than a month.

Christie ranked fifth with 8 percent of likely Republican voters' support in the poll, taken Thursday through Sunday by Monmouth University. Other recent polls had shown him in a statistical tie for second with several rivals, and the Monmouth result could be a sign of the impact of recent criticism of Christie's record in New Jersey by developer Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Rubio.

Monmouth found Trump leading the Republican field in New Hampshire with 26 percent, followed by Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 14 percent each and Rubio with 12 percent.

A super PAC supporting Rubio, for example, ran television commercials highlighting the indictment of two of Christie's aides in the George Washington Bridge scandal and Christie's acceptance of expanded Medicaid funding offered by President Obama.

Things could still change before the Feb. 9 primary, however. Monmouth found that only 32 percent of New Hampshire voters, or about one of every three, were completely decided. Some 46 percent of Trump supporters said they were settled on their choice, the most of any candidate in the field.

"As Granite State voters start to firm up their decision, it's looking more and more unlikely that Trump will be toppled from his perch. The real fight is for second place," said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray.

The Monmouth poll of 414 likely Republican voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

New Jersey voters remain displeased with Christie, with only 31 percent approving of his job performance, down from a peak of 77 percent in November 2012, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released today. …

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