A new poll released Friday by Rasmussen Reports found that 56 percent of likely voters in New Jersey think Gov. Chris Christie should resign from office if it's shown that he gave the approval to close local lanes to the George Washington Bridge last September as a means of political retaliation.
The poll, conducted by a telephone survey Thursday night, also shows that 54 percent of voters in the state believe it's "at least somewhat likely" that Christie had prior knowledge of the closures.
Christie acknowledged the involvement of his staffers in the scandal for the first time Thursday in an apologetic Statehouse press conference, but he reiterated and has maintained that he has had no knowledge of the closures and was not in any way personally involved.
Poll numbers do reflect a partisan divide over questions regarding Christie's role.
While 75 percent of Democrats said that it's likely Christie knew of the closures earlier, just 34 percent of Republican voters agreed. Another 46 percent of voters who reported no affiliation to a political party also agreed.
Despite those numbers, 55 percent of voters still look favorably upon Christie and another 60 percent still approve of the job he has done as governor. In New Jersey, as the poll indicates, that's still higher than the 52 percent approval rating voters give President Obama.
And as for Christie's future prospects, just 39 percent of voters reported that they would be less likely to vote for him in the 2016 presidential race as a result of the scandal.
But while previous voter polls had a potential presidential race between Christie and Democrat Hillary Clinton tied at 43 percentage points each, numbers reported Thursday indicate Clinton now holds a lead of two percentage points over Christie, 43 percent to 41 percent.
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