COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a fairly wide lead on the potential 2016 presidential field in Ohio, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll.

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie had been the closest candidate, but his numbers took a dive after the traffic controversy in his state.

Clinton tops Christie 49 – 36 percent. The race had been nearly a dead heat back in November when Clinton led 42 - 41.

The Democrat tops other possible Republican contenders:

  • 51 – 36 percent over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  • 50 – 36 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
  • 51 – 38 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
  • 49 – 40 percent over U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
  • 51 – 34 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
  • 51 – 39 percent over Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Ohio voters say 55 – 39 percent that Clinton would make a good president. No Republican listed gets a positive score on this question, as even Gov. Kasich gets a negative 34 – 47 percent.

Christie gets a big negative 31 – 48 percent, compared to a positive 44 – 32 percent November 27.

“The George Washington Bridge is not in Ohio, but voters there seem very aware of its traffic problems – and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic problems,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 

Ohio voters give President Barack Obama a negative 40 – 55 percent job approval rating, an improvement on his negative 34 – 61 percent score in a November 27 Quinnipiac University poll, his lowest score ever in Ohio.

Today, negative scores are 8 – 89 percent among Republicans and 30 – 63 percent among independent voters, while Democrats approve 80 – 16 percent.  

The president gets a negative 34 – 61 percent score from men and a slightly negative 46 – 50 percent score from women. 

“The good news for President Barack Obama is his job approval rating among Ohioans has improved from its record low in November. The bad news is that with a 40 percent approval rating he remains in the Buckeye dog house,” Brown said. “If those numbers remain where they are or go lower, it’s difficult to see him as an asset to Democratic candidates this November.”

Ohio voters approve 48 – 34 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing and give U.S. Sen. Rob Portman a 38 – 32 percent approval rating.    

From February 12 – 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.