Gov. Chris Christie's 2016 presidential prospects are taking a hit as a result of the Bridgegate scandal, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

The survey finds that the governor is trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 46 to 38 percent. Voters also are divided, 36 to 35 percent, on whether Christie would make a good president. That's down from a 49 to 31 percent margin in November.

Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute, said these numbers are problematic for Christie.

"This means the scandal is lingering; he's lost ground to Hillary Clinton in a big way," Malloy said. "A few weeks ago, Christie was in a dead heat with Clinton. Now, there's a fairly significant change. This is a bad poll for Chris Christie."

The results of a Dec. 11 survey found Christie at 42 percent and Clinton at 41 percent. The December numbers were almost identical to those in a Nov. 13 survey.

"Christie has moved from the likely GOP candidate to the possible GOP candidate," Malloy said. "He still has the support of Republicans, but he's taking a huge hit now with Democrats, many of whom liked him, and certainly independents. He's got a problem."

The ground that the governor has lost in the question of whether he would make a good president is a big factor, according to Malloy, because it's not just popularity.

"It covers everything," Malloy said. "It covers electability, it covers how he handles himself, and clearly this has been the impact of the Bridgegate scandal."

According to the survey, 73 percent of American voters have read or heard something about Bridgegate. Of that group, 50 percent say the scandal damages Christie's 2016 White House hopes, while 3 percent say it ends his chances. Two percent say it helps his chances, and 39 percent say the scandal has no impact.

Christie still runs better against Clinton than other leading Republicans. In fact, Clinton tops possible GOP contenders:

  • 49 - 39 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
  • 50 - 35 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
  • 49 - 38 percent over former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida

Meanwhile, Clinton tops the Democratic pack with support from 65 percent of all Democrats, followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 8 percent.

For more information on this poll, call 203-582-5201 or click here.