The first poll to be released following last week’s federal charges in the Bridgegate scandal indicates that most New Jersey residents believe Gov. Chris Christie has not been completely honest about his knowledge of the politically motivated 2013 lane closures.According to a new Monmouth University Poll released Monday, 23 percent of New Jerseyans believe Christie’s account of the lane closures, compared with 69 percent who feel he has not been completely honest.
Though party lines still represent a divide on the issue, 56 percent of all residents said that Christie knew of the lane closures while they were happening and another 50 percent believe Christie was personally involved in the decision to implement them.
“The governor has maintained that he was not involved in the lane closures nor did he know about them as they were happening,” poll director Patrick Murray said. “Most New Jerseyans don’t buy it.”
The poll found Christie’s current job approval rating to be at roughly 35 percent, representing a steep decline from the 70 percent approval rating he enjoyed following Superstorm Sandy in February 2013. Another 56 percent of all New Jersey residents said they currently disapprove of the job Christie is doing as governor.
“Christie’s overwhelmingly positive ratings in the aftermath of Sandy have now been sliced in half,” Murray said. “Christie’s ratings had stabilized after the initial Bridgegate revelations early last year. They started to erode again last fall, but these post-indictment numbers mark a significant acceleration in that decline.”
As for the indictments of former Christie allies David Wildstein, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, which were all made public last Friday, just 9 percent of New Jerseyans believe they were the only ones responsible for the lane closures.
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