- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would trump the rest of the presidential field among Ohio voters in 2016, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “is stuck in traffic with other leading Republican contenders,” a new poll said.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says Mrs. Clinton would top Mr. Christie 49-36 percent in the vital swing state, a widened lead from a Nov. 27 survey that gave Mrs. Clinton a one percent edge.

Mrs. Clinton, if she runs as the Democratic frontrunner, would lead other top GOP contenders from 9 to 17 points — among others, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 51-36 percent, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky by 51-38 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by 51-38 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by 51-34 percent.

Ohio voters say 55-39 percent that Mrs. Clinton would make a good president, while no Republican gets a positive score on that question.

Even Ohio Gov. John Kasich received a negative score of 34-47 percent, Quinnipiac said.

Mr. Christie’s fortunes in Ohio have been hampered by an unfolding probe into lane closures near the George Washington Bridge that caused traffic problems in Fort Lee, N.J., for four days in September.

Text messages and emails from Christie aides suggest they closed the lanes as political retribution against the small town’s mayor, although the governor has said he did not know about the plot.

“When Quinnipiac University asked Ohioans in November about Gov. Christie vs. Secretary Hillary Clinton in a 2016 White House race, the two were in a dead heat and voters thought he would make a good president,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute. “Today, she enjoys a comfortable double-digit lead and voters say Christie would not be a good president.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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