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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reacts during a news conference in Trenton January 9, 2014. Christie on Thursday fired a top aide at the center of a brewing scandal that public officials orchestrated a massive traffic snarl on the busy George Washingto
The good news for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (NBC/Marist (pdf), Jan 12-14, ±3.0 percent):
Nearly 70 percent of Americans say the bridge-closure scandal engulfing Chris Christie has not changed their opinion about the New Jersey governor, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll. In addition, 44 percent of respondents believe he’s telling the truth about his knowledge of the events surrounding the controversy.
The bad news:
Despite those numbers, Christie has lost ground to Hillary Clinton in an early hypothetical presidential match up. In this current poll, he trails Clinton by 13 points, 50 percent to 37 percent among nationwide voters.

But in the same poll a month ago, Clinton’s lead was a mere three points, 48 percent to 45 percent.

So while Americans say they haven't changed their view of Christie, it's apparent that they actually have — unless you can come up with some other explanation for why Christie's deficit against Clinton grew by 10 points in just one month. Given that we're just at the beginning of the investigation into the bridge fiasco, that's really not a good spot for him.

Also worth noting: Among Republicans, Christie still is the favorite for the 2016 nomination (as he was last month), but with just 16 percent backing him (and a ±5 percent margin of error for the poll's GOP subsample), he's hardly in a commanding position. And given that much of his strength was built around the narrative that he was the electable one, I suspect those numbers will drop by the time we next see a poll.

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