“Bridgegate’’ revelations are driving down Gov. Chris Christie’s job approval and favorability ratings, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Wednesday.
Christie’s favorability rating is 46 percent favorable to 43 percent unfavorable, down from 65 percent favorable just before his landslide re-election, the poll shows. This drop in support is led by a 26-point decline among Democrats.
Voters are slightly more positive about Christie’s performance as governor, with 53 percent approving of how he handles the job. But this is down 15 points since November, well below the 66 to 73 percent support Christie had enjoyed throughout the year since Superstorm Sandy, the poll indicates.
Not unexpectedly, Christie’s ratings are noticeably lower among those who travel across the George Washington Bridge at least once a week, at 37 percent favorable. Those who use the bridge less often are more positive, with 45 percent favorable, compared to 51 percent favorable among voters who never use the bridge. His job approval follows a similar pattern for these commuters, the poll shows.
“Other polls taken immediately after the bridge scandal broke showed relatively small effects,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “But with another week of revelations, damage appears to have been done. The good will the Governor built up among Democrats with his handling of the Sandy aftermath is gone, at least for now.”
Results are from a statewide poll of 826 New Jersey adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Jan. 14 – 19. Within this sample are 757 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.
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