Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Poll finds GOP resistance to Christie bid

Gov. Christie fared better than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the poll.   Associated Press
Gov. Christie fared better than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the poll. Associated Press
WASHINGTON - As conservatives gather in the Washington area on Thursday for three days of speeches from prospective 2016 presidential candidates and discussions about the future of the GOP, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that three in 10 of all Republicans say they would not vote for Gov. Christie if he ran for the White House.

Christie will address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday morning. What he says and the reception he receives will be closely watched and analyzed, and the new survey underscores the obstacles Christie will face if he seeks his party's nomination in 2016.

The poll also found that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has problems of a different kind. He is more popular in the Republican Party than Christie but faces potential head winds as a candidate. The Post-ABC poll found that almost half of all Americans, and 50 percent of registered voters, say they "definitely would not" vote for him for president - a possible hangover from the presidency of his brother George W. Bush.

The overall findings underscore the degree to which the contest for the GOP nomination is as wide open as any in the modern era.

The survey asked about nine Republicans, most of them thinking seriously about running in 2016, and one Democrat, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Twenty-five percent of all Americans say they "definitely would" vote for the former secretary of state, while 41 percent say they would consider doing so. Thirty-two percent of all Americans (and 37 percent of registered voters) say they definitely would not.

Christie has been badly damaged politically by the controversy over a four-day traffic snarl in September that appears to have been ordered by his aides and advisers as political retribution.

The poll does not provide information that could distinguish how much Christie's problems are a result of the controversy and how much they reflect general skepticism toward him among conservatives.

Dan Balz and Peyton M. Craighill Washington Post
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