Chris Christie is the most popular politician in America.
That’s the finding of a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released Wednesday, which found that 41 per cent of Americans view Christie positively, compared with just 12 per cent who view him negatively.
Christie’s positive-to-negative score sits only behind the FBI’s, which 48 per cent view positively and 15 per cent negatively. Christie scores much higher than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and some prime potential competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Christie achieves his highly positive light through a rather unprecedented combination that serves as a paradox for his 2016 chances, should he decide to enter the presidential race. Like a recent Public Policy Polling survey found, Christie is viewed positively by a near-equal combination of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.
According to the WSJ/NBC poll, Christie is viewed positively by 43 per cent of Democrats, 41 per cent of Independents, and 40 per cent of Republicans. Those favorability ratings haven’t been seen in a potential presidential nominee since John McCain in 2008. Christie is the only potential 2016 candidate who earns favourable views across party lines.
But the poll numbers also suggest that his candidacy could face significant trouble in its early stages. He is viewed more positively by Democrats and Independents than Republicans. That could bode well for a general election, but if only 40 per cent of Republicans view him positively, he might not even advance out of the primary.
The poll comes as Christie recently set a date for a special election to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). His decision to hold the election in October — at a cost of about $25 million extra to the state — has earned him immediate fire from both the left and right.
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