Chris Christie is hot – and it has nothing to do with the grilling he’s getting from the media over Bridgegate. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, Christie is the hottest politician in the country – at least when it comes to how warmly American voters feel toward politicos with national name recognition.
The Quinnipiac poll showed Christie had a 55.5 mean degree temperature on the university’s national thermometer. The thermometer ranges from zero to 100 degrees.
"He may not seem the warm and fuzzy type, but New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is a hot ticket in eyes of American voters," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The poll was released Thursday, just as Christie came under scrutiny for the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal involving lane closures in Fort Lee, N.J., by the George Washington Bridge. Reports suggested that Christie ordered the lane closures, which led to traffic jams, because Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor wouldn’t support his re-election campaign for governor. While Christie denied direct involvement, top aide Bridget Anne Kelly was implicated in the scandal and the governor fired her.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and ex-Republican presidential candidate is the second-hottest politician, with a 51 degree mean temperature, according to the Quinnipiac poll. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was third, with a 50.7 degree mean temperature. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton polled seventh overall, but highest among Democratic voters polled, with a 77.2 degree mean temperature.
Other potential 2016 presidential candidates’ readings include Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at 47.1 degrees, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at 47.1 degrees and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., at 43.9 degrees. Democrats on the list include New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 43 degrees, Vice President Joe Biden at 43.7 degrees and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean at 37.2 degrees.
"A lot of would-be presidential candidates are struggling with a chilly reception from the voters, who either don't know them or don't warm to them. But the heat is on for Secretary Clinton, Gov. Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. When we ask about them among members of their own party, Clinton and Huckabee are near tropical while Christie is lukewarm,” Malloy said.
The poll also surveyed respondents on Benghazi, asking those polled if they believed the Obama administration deliberately misled or shared facts with the American people about the events of the attack on the embassy in Libya. More than half said the administration was being misleading (including 80 percent of Republicans) while 37 percent said the administration was sharing facts (including 67 percent of Democrats).
On Edward Snowden, the National Security Administration contractor who leaked sensitive information on data collection to the press, more respondents viewed him as a whistle-blower (57 percent) than those who viewed him as a traitor (34 percent.) View the full poll here.