A Monmouth University Poll finds Donald Trump holding a sizable edge in New Hampshire over his Republican rivals in the presidential race.
A quarter of the likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire now say they support Trump. Jeb Bush is second with 12 percent.
Despite all the time New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has spent there, poll director Patrick Murray said the survey finds him far behind the crowded field with only 4 percent support.
“Fifteen percent of New Hampshire primary voters say that they have already met one of the candidates and half that number, 7 percent, say it’s been Chris Christie,” Murray said. “He has high name recognition and, in fact, Christie’s favorable ratings are better in New Hampshire than they are anywhere else. The problem is it’s not translating into support. He is not the first choice.”
Trump’s candidacy is hurting Christie, Murray said.
“Among Trump voters specifically, 15 percent of those voters say they that would actually support Chris Christie if Trump wasn’t in the race,” he said. “So Trump is stealing some of Christie’s ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ thunder. There’s no question about it.”
Christie has a 40 percent negative rating among Republicans in the Granite State, so it will be difficult from him to move into the top tier of candidates, Murray said.
The first-in-the-nation primary doesn’t take place until February.