TEANECK, N.J., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie heads a short list of potential Republican presidential nominees in 2016, a poll released Tuesday indicated.
The PublicMind Poll at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J., asked respondents about former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Christie, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
Bush and Santorum, who ran for president in 2012, had the highest name recognition at 80 percent and 79 percent, but only one-third of those who said they had heard of them had favorable views. Christie had 68 percent name recognition, Rubio 56 percent and Jindal 37 percent.
Overall, 55 percent of registered voters who had heard of Christie like him, compared with 46 percent for Rubio and 45 percent for Jindal. While Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and Jindal's family is from India, Christie does better among minority groups.
Krista Jenkins, the poll's director, said Christie does almost as well among Democrats and independents as with Republicans. While 59 percent of Republicans view him favorably, so do 52 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents.
Unlike many Republicans, he does well with women, getting 53 percent favorable ratings from men and 57 percent with women.
Christie's public appearance with President Obama after Superstorm Sandy struck the Jersey Shore burnished his national image. It also angered conservative Republican pundits such as Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Morris, who actually blamed him for Mitt Romney's defeat.
"The governor's appeal is likely based on his call for bipartisanship during his high-profile speech at the GOP convention, as well as the praise he had for President Obama in the days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged his state," Jenkins said. "However, his delicate treatment of conservative issues such as abortion and gun control will undoubtedly prove instructive as to how long he's able to maintain bipartisan favorability."
Jenkins said Jindal's low name recognition is not necessarily bad given that he has time before the 2016 election to build a national reputation.
The poll surveyed 814 registered voters across the country by telephone Dec. 10-16. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.
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