Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), two of the most visible contenders in the crowded 2016 field, both face widespread mistrust over their roles in past controversies, according to a Bloomberg poll released Thursday.
Sixty-three percent of Americans say they don't believe Christie's statement that he knew nothing about his top aides' plan to close lanes and prompt a colossal traffic backup on the George Washington Bridge as political retribution. His once-enviable favorable rating has declined sharply since the bridge scandal broke. He also faces declining numbers in his home state, where a majority of voters now disapprove of him.
A 51 percent majority of Americans say they don't believe that Clinton didn't see requests for more security before the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Her numbers have declined considerably since she left her office as Secretary of State, but most polling still finds her viewed positively.
Bloomberg also found that in a potential presidential matchup, voters would choose Clinton over Christie by 13 points.
"These controversies appear to do more damage to Christie than to Clinton," pollster J. Ann Selzer told Bloomberg. "It could be she’s built enough credibility on other fronts to carry her through. Christie is still in the hand-shake phase of his relationship with the public."
Bloomberg polled 1,001 Americans by phone between March 7 and March 10.