BREAKING: Chris Christie is still pretty popular

It hasn't been a good couple months for Chris Christie. This much we know.

But lost amid all the headlines about the New Jersey governor's bridge-related problems and fast-dropping approval rating is this: He's still among the most popular potential presidential candidates in the country.

The most recent poll, from Monmouth University, shows Christie's approval rating at 50 percent -- down 15 points from December, when his bridge scandal broke. Another 44 percent disapproved of the governor.

That's a strikingly quick fall from grace. But it has a lot to do with the fact that Christie's approval rating had been residing in the stratosphere for about a year. In other words, there was little place to go but down -- especially given that he's a Republican governor in a blue state.

We'll have to wait and see whether Christie's numbers erode further, but for now, he remains on-par with most of his potential 2016 competitors.

Here are some comparison's to Christie's 50/44 approve/disapprove split:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R): 42/55

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R): 51/43

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R): 51/36

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R): 44/40

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): 52/37

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): 46-45

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.): 42-36

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D): 55/39

Vice President Biden (D): 51/39

Hillary Clinton (D): 62/35

(Clinton's and Biden's numbers are national; the rest are only in the politician's home states.)

As you can see above, Christie's political standing in his home state is pretty close to on-par with everyone not named Hillary Clinton, and is actually slightly better than some of his potential opponents. (And you could make an argument that Christie gets bonus points for doing it in a blue state.)

Now, one's approval in one's home state doesn't determine how strong a presidential candidate one is. (That's three 'one's' in one sentence.) But it does suggest that the people who know Christie best haven't quite deserted him -- at least as much as some people think.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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