Pew Poll: Most Think Christie Knew of Bridge-gate Plan

Monday, 20 Jan 2014 05:44 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Most Americans think New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew his aides were involved in a plan to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge to retaliate against the Fort Lee mayor's refusal to support his re-election, a new USA Today/Pew Research Center poll reveals.

The poll shows that nearly three-quarters of the 1,504 adults polled were aware of the bridge-gate controversy, USA Today reports, and of those who were aware, 58 percent said they don't believe Christie's denials that he knew of the plan.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

Just under one-third, or 32 percent, think the governor did know what his aides were doing.

Christie said, in an hour and forty nine-minute press conference, that he knew nothing about emails going between his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and Port Authority official David Wildstein.

The email, in which Kelly wrote, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," is being seen as a link between the Christie administration and the bridge closures. The governor says he knew nothing about the communications until they were made public.

Christie is considered a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and the new poll shows that despite the bridge-gate controversy, Christie's favorability levels have barely dropped.

Forty percent of those questioned in a Pew poll last year gave the governor a favorable rating, while in the most recent poll, 38 percent gave Christie positive marks.

The governor's unfavorable rating has jumped, however, from 17 percent last year to 34 percent now, but part of the reason for the jump is that many of those interviewed had not heard of Christie a year ago, the pollsters said.

Last year, 26 percent of respondents had not heard of Christie, compared to 16 percent this year who did not know who he is.

Results were mixed on how many people have heard of the bridge-gate scandal, showing 45 percent of those surveyed have heard a lot while 29 percent knew a little about it and 27 percent knew nothing.

Urgent: Do You Like Chris Christie? Vote Now

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