The public paid far more attention to last week’s cold snap than to the controversy swirling around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. There also has been little short-term change in opinions about Christie: 60% say their opinion of Christie has not changed in recent days, while 16% now view him less favorably and 6% more favorably.
The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 9-12 among 1,006 adults, finds that just 18% paid very close attention to Christie’s apology on Jan. 9 for the highway lane closures ordered by his aides. By contrast, 44% very closely followed news about the cold winter weather that gripped much of the U.S. and 28% tracked news about the economy.
The survey finds that majorities of Republicans (69%), Democrats (55%) and independents (60%) say that their opinion of Christie has not changed lately. Among Republicans, about as many say their opinion has become more favorable (9%) as less favorable (10%).
More Democrats say their opinion has become less favorable (25%) than more favorable (3%). Among independents, 14% say their opinion of Christie has become less favorable and 6% more favorable.The Asbury Park Press reports:
About half of New Jersey adults think Gov. Chris Christie knew his staff was involved in the “Bridgegate” scandal before emails became public last week, according to a new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll.
And 51 percent say they do not think the governor has been “completely honest” about what he knows about the incident, the poll found.
But 52 percent do not believe Christie was personally involved in the decision to slash Fort Lee’s access to George Washington Bridge toll lanes last September, according to the poll.
The scandal has caused Christie’s job approval rating to slide. His post-election high of 65 percent in December dropped to 59 percent over the weekend, according to the poll. That number, though, is still higher than before superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey in October 2012, when he was at 53 percent.
But the Republican governor’s popularity doesn’t translate well to higher office. Forty-nine percent said they do not think Christie has the right temperament to be president, up from 34 percent in September.