Christie leads in early New Hampshire primary poll

Alexis Levinson | Political Reporter

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is New Hampshire Republicans’ top choice for a 2016 presidential nominee, outpacing Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in a new poll from the “first in the nation” primary state.

A Granite State Poll released Wednesday afternoon found Christie handily beating the rest of the Republican field with 21 percent of the vote. Paul, who led the last Granite State Poll in April with 15 percent of the vote is now in second place with 16 percent of the vote. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the only other candidate in double digits, with 10 percent of likely primary voters calling him their first choice.

Fortunes have fallen for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who tied Paul for the lead in the April poll: he now sits in fifth place with a mere six percent of New Hampshire primary voters favoring him, behind House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who is at eight percent.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are tied with four percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gets two percent. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich get less than one percent.

Rubio’s popularity among voters has also slid since the last poll, falling from 59 percent favorable to 47 percent favorable.

Ryan is the most popular, with 66 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him, while 18 percent say they have an unfavorable one.

This is just an early snapshot. Ninety-three percent of likely Republican primary voters say they are still undecided about who they will vote for three years from now.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the prohibitive frontrunner: She is the top choice of 62 percent of likely Democratic primary voters. No other potential candidate even breaks double digits.

The poll was taken from July 18 through July 29 and surveyed 200 likely Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.9 percentage points. The Democratic portion is based on a sample of 190 likely Democratic primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 7.1 percentage points.

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