WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's popularity as a potential presidential candidate is taking a hit in the face of recent controversy, a CNN/ORC poll indicates.
In late November and early December, Christie was the top potential 2016 Republican presidential hopeful. Now, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appears to be at the top of the list, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in the No. 2 spot, CNN said Monday.
The CNN/ORC poll said 14 percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP said they would support Huckabee for the presidential nomination. Paul received 13 percent and Christie was tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 10 percent. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tied with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with 9 percent.
Christie, caught up in allegations an aide closed access lanes of the George Washington Bridge last year as political retribution and that some Superstorm Sandy recovery aid was tied to political support, was 11 points ahead of the rest of the field back in November.
CNN said Huckabee wasn't even included in the November poll.
Christie also fell sharply in a possible 2016 matchup with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In December, he held a 48 percent to 46 percent edge over Clinton. In the latest poll, he trails her by 16 percentage points, CNN said.
The CNN telephone poll of 1,010 adults, conducted by ORC International Jan. 31-Feb. 2, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.