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Poll: Christie maintains approval rating as Bridgegate interest wanes

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Gov. Chris Christie now maintains a stable approval rating following months of dips caused by Bridgegate.
Gov. Chris Christie now maintains a stable approval rating following months of dips caused by Bridgegate. - (Foto: Governors office / Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie is now maintaining a stable approval rating percent following months of dips earlier this year in the immediate wake of Bridgegate, according to a new Farleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll released Tuesday.

In this latest poll, Christie’s approval and disapproval ratings among New Jersey residents are identical at 44 percent each. According to Krista Jenkins, poll director and FDU professor, Christie’s numbers “remain statistically unchanged” from March, when he posted a 41 percent approval rating.

The poll also found that the public’s interest in Bridgegate has waned.

Those who reported that they are following news about the scandal “very closely” now only make up some 22 percent, down from 34 percent in March and 38 percent at its height in January.

In addition, while 45 percent reported that Bridgegate impacts their opinions on Christie by either “a great deal” or “some,” another 52 percent added that the scandal holds “little” weight or “none at all.” Despite this, the percentage of respondents that believe it was unlikely that Christie knew nothing of the lane closures has climbed to 58 percent from 53 percent in January.

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“Of course I’m sure he’d rather have approval ratings in the 60’s than 40’s, but public approval has not declined further and that is good news for (the) governor,” Jenkins said. “Add to this a decline in interest in Bridgegate and the approaching summer may end up feeling that much warmer to Governor Christie.”

Still, the poll found that more voters, 48 percent, believe the state is heading in the wrong direction rather than the right one, 40 percent, for the first time since January 2012.

“Budget shortfalls, a slower than hoped for Sandy recovery and Bridgegate could be to blame,” Jenkins said. “Of course, it’s better for a presumptive presidential candidate for voters at home to feel more sanguine about things than they do now.”

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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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