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New polls indicate scandals continue to have negative impact on Christie

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Gov. Chris Christie at a press conference discussing earlier revelations about the GW Bridge scandal.
Gov. Chris Christie at a press conference discussing earlier revelations about the GW Bridge scandal. - (Andrew George)

In the wake of scandals over the George Washington Bridge and the alleged withholding of Sandy funds in Hoboken, public support for Gov. Chris Christie continues to plummet, according to two new polls released Tuesday.

Among New Jersey residents, Christie's approval rating is 48 percent, down 14 percentage points from October, according to a Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. The poll found that an additional 39 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the job Christie is doing as governor.

The FDU poll found that Christie's likability has fallen as well since October, down from 46 percent across the board to a current 38 percent. Another 27 percent reported that they dislike everything about Christie.

FDU professor and poll director Krista Jenkins said the numbers point to the scandals having a large impact on Christie, as they bring his approval ratings down to their lowest marks since Superstorm Sandy.

"The allegations of malicious politicking in his administration are taking their toll," Jenkins said. "His declining approval comes at an inopportune time. His entrance on the national stage as head of the Republican Governors Association, and possible presidential contender for 2016, complicates his introduction to a national electorate."

And according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday, Christie appears to be losing support with the rest of the country as well.

The poll indicates that Christie's favorability has fallen by 11 percentage points from 33 percent in October to just 22 percent now. The number of Americans who see Christie unfavorably has also risen, the poll found, from 17 percent in October to 29 percent now.

Though an NBC/Marist poll conducted earlier this month found that most Americans believed Christie was telling the truth about what he knew in regards to the bridge scandal, the new poll indicates attitudes have since shifted. Now, 44 percent believe Christie is mostly not telling the truth, compared to 42 percent who say he is, the poll found.

Back in New Jersey, the FDU poll points to similar sentiments among Garden State residents as 53 percent said they felt it was unlikely that Christie did not know more about the lane closures.

That's a change in public opinion on a governor who has built his reputation on straight-talk, Jenkins said.

"A defining characteristic of the governor has been the public's perception that he can be relied upon to speak honestly about issues that are both easy and difficult," Jenkins said. "At least on this issue, the public seems to be saying that, on balance, there's more to the story than he's so far revealed."


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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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