scandal, Gov. Christie's New Jersey approval rating drops
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[January 23, 2014]
By Edith Honan
NEW YORK (Reuters) — Support for New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie, which soared over his handling of
Superstorm Sandy, has fallen almost 20 points since his landslide
re-election in November as he faces probes into the conduct of his top
The brash and charismatic Christie is widely seen as a top
Republican contender for the White House in 2016, and the brewing
scandals in his home state are the biggest political challenge he
has faced yet.
Christie's approval rating among New Jersey voters, at 65 percent
just before he was re-elected last year, dipped to 46 percent
favorable to 43 percent unfavorable, according to the
In the heavily Democratic state, support for Christie remains high
among Republicans and independents, while support fell 26 points
The poll was conducted after Christie removed two top aides for
their role in orchestrating huge traffic jams near the busy George
Washington Bridge, apparently to settle a political score. The
surveying was partly complete when new allegations were brought last
week by the Democratic Mayor of Hoboken that Christie withheld storm
recovery funds for political reasons.
Christie has said he had no direct knowledge of the bridge incident,
and his office has strongly denied Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer's
Voters' views on Christie's performance as governor, which hovered
between 66 percent and 73 percent in the year after Sandy battered
the state in late 2012, now stands at 53 percent, the poll found.
"The good will the governor built up among Democrats with his
handling of the Sandy aftermath is gone, at least for now," said
David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor
of political science at Rutgers University.
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Christie's ratings were especially low among regular users of the
George Washington Bridge, where the closings of two access lanes
from Fort Lee caused hours-long snarls over four days in September.
Among those who use the bridge connecting northern New Jersey and
Manhattan at least once a week, just 37 percent had a favorable view
of the governor. Among New Jersey voters who never use the bridge,
51 percent had a favorable view.
The poll of 826 New Jersey adults was conducted from January 14 to
January 19 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage
points. A sub-sample of 757 registered voters had a margin of error
of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
(Reporting by Edith Honan; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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