Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton are the two hottest politicians in the country, according to a new poll.
Don’t get too excited, though: In this context, “hottest” refers to the politicians’ degree of favorability amongst voters, not their physical assets (although this photoshopped picture of Christie admittedly has us pondering the latter quality as well).
Respondents in a Quinnipiac poll were asked to rank politicians — including Clinton, Christie, President Obama, Paul Ryan and a slew of others — on a scale of 1-100. The scores for each were then averaged out, and then the word “score” was replaced by “temperature,” presumably so Quinnipiac could use “Hottest Leaders in America” as a headline and trick people into thinking they were about to read a list of sexy politicians in America.
The New Jersey governor and former Secretary of State had the highest “temperatures,” with 53.1 and 52.1 respectively. On the one hand, both are considered early presidential frontrunners, so this is undoubtedly encouraging news for each of them. On the other hand, both Clinton and Christie are smart enough to understand that calling somebody an “early presidential frontrunner” three and a half years before the next presidential election is laughable, so they’re surely taking this with a grain of salt.
The poll could have also been called “Voter Attitudes Toward Future Presidential Candidates,” as nearly every name in the top ten is frequently mentioned as either a possible or likely presidential candidate in 2016.
In third place behind Clinton was Massachusetts Senator and progressive hero Elizabeth Warren, followed by President Obama, New York Senator Kirstin Gillibrand, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
This could be something of a feedback loop — politicians are mentioned in the press as possible future presidents, which increases their name recognition and, by extension, their score on polls such as this — or it could be a sign that those who are thinking of running are doing a relatively good job of promoting themselves to prospective voters.
One person who can’t be too pleased with his standing in this poll is Rand Paul. The freshman Kentucky Senator hasn’t been shy at making a name for himself since stumbling into office three years ago — remember "#StandWithRand?"— yet he failed to crack the top ten in the Quinnipiac poll, registering a temperature of only 44.8.
Did we mention Obama didn't even make the top three?