Who is the "hottest" politician in America? The answer may surprise you.
Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey who's known for speaking his mind, comes in first place in a Quinnipiac University Thermometer study that was released Monday morning.
The polling firm measured the popularity (not looks) of numerous political figures among American voters and released the results, which offer up some intriguing perspective. Measured in degrees (i.e. a thermometer; respondents were asked to rate each individual on a scale), the top five individuals are as follows:
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 53.1 degrees
- Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton at 52.1 degrees
- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 49.2 degrees
- President Barack Obama at 47.6 degrees
- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at 47.6 degrees
Interestingly, Christie, Clinton and Warren are all more popular than President Obama (he comes in fourth). While he didn't rank in the top five, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has also made a splash on the national scene, as he comes in at number six.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells a story about Ilene St. John Monday, July 29, 2013, in Morristown, N.J., at a ceremony naming the Morris County clerk of the board's office after St. John. St. John was the clerk when Christie was a Morris County Freeholder. Later Monday, the democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, labor leader Milly Silva, said Christie's associations with conservative politicians is "cause for alarm." The Christie campaign says Silva is unqualified to be governor. Credit: AP
Despite making the top five, not everyone was recognizable to the majority of Americans. Gillibrand, for instance, lacked familiarity to the general public, as 75 percent of voters didn't know enough about her to provide an accurate temperature. The same was true of Cruz, but to a lesser degree (60 percent of voters couldn't offer an opinion).
While Clinton wasn't a surprise, seeing as she's been in politics for quite some time, Peter A. Brown, assistant director at Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said that Christie's rating is "impressive."
Despite coming in at number one, though, fallout from Christie's 2012 praise of Obama still seems to be hampering him among Republicans (he ranks eighth among GOP faithful). Based on the current schema, he would likely struggle to win the GOP nomination if it were held today.
This July 16, 2013 file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressing the 51st Delta Sigma Theta National Convention in Washington. NBC announced Saturday, July 27, that actress Diane Lane will star as the former first lady and secretary of state in a four-hour miniseries, "Hillary." Credit: AP
"Christie's great strength is among independent voters, who give him 50.6 degrees of love, and Democrats, who give him 53.2 degrees," Brown said in a release put out by Quinnipiac. "His rating on the Thermometer scale is a good indication of what may face him should he travel the 2016 campaign trail."
The polling institute surveyed 1,468 registered voters via phone with a margin of error of +/-2.6 percentage points. Quinnipiac used a "feeling thermometer," asking respondents to rate each politician on a scale from 0 to 100 (100 is the most favorable).
Read the complete results here.