A new poll shows Gov. Chris Christie is the second choice for Republican presidential candidate behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Republicans and GOP-leaning independent voters who have a preferred choice.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll puts Christie one point behind Romney, 13 percent to 12 percent, among the more than 50 percent of respondents who named a choice. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was third at 11 percent.
Just 6 percent named former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty all received minimal support.
“November is far off, but it is clear Christie is not the default choice of New Jersey Republicans,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “This is probably due mostly to his continuing denial of interest in running. But were he running, I suspect many would line up behind him.”
Among the 46 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who have a favorable view of the Tea Party, Romney’s stock jumped to 17 percent, while Christie and Palin were tied at 13 percent. Of those with a negative view of the Tea Party, Palin was the choice of 11 percent, Christie was picked by 10 percent and Romney by 9 percent.
Christie fans put up the best show of support for the governor with 16 percent behind him versus 15 percent who chose Romney.