Christie surges, Palin stumbles in new poll

According to a new Zogby poll, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads other possible Republican presidential candidates and would beat President Obama in a hypothetical matchup.

“Christie’s blunt talk about public employees and his aggressive actions on the New Jersey state budget have made him very popular both within the Republican Party and with independents,” said pollster John Zogby. “If he decided to run, Christie could quickly oust Romney as the favorite of establishment Republicans.”

“Our results are not good news for Palin,” continued Zogby. “She isn’t winning independents, and despite her star power with conservatives, she is not their first choice to take on Obama.”

Christie leads Obama 43 percent to 40 percent in a head-to-head contest. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ties the president 41 percent to 41 percent. Both Christie and Romney lead the president among independent voters.

The other possible Republican candidates included in the survey were former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and South Dakota Senator John Thune. None of them would beat Obama, according to the poll.

Twenty-seven percent of Republicans say they would support Christie if he ran in the Republican primary, followed by Romney with 17 percent support, Palin at 16 percent, and 14 percent for Huckabee. Other polls have shown Huckabee as the favorite in a Republican primary contest.

Christie continues to insist he has no interest in running for president in 2012. Asked on Tuesday what he thought of the poll, Christie joked that he was sure the president was “resting easy” because “the only person who’s beating him in the poll will once again declare that I’m not running for President of the United States.”