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Poll: Christie’s Job Rating Drops Amid Bridge Scandal, But Still High

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Chris Christie’s approval rating in New Jersey has dropped, but remains high amid a growing scandal involving the closing of approach lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll shows Christie’s job approval stands at 59 percent, with 32 percent  disapproving.

His job approval was 65 percent in December. It’s the first time since Superstorm Sandy that Christie’s approval rating has fallen below 60 percent.

“He’s banked a lot of goodwill here in New Jersey, so it’s going to take more than we’ve learned so far to bring him down,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, told WCBS 880. “In fact, if it’s only a little bit more than what we know now, I think he will probably weather this storm very well.”

Emails and text messages released last week showed that key Christie aides closed lanes leading up to the bridge in September that caused massive gridlock in Fort Lee.

The move was made as an apparent political payback against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie for re-election. Four Christie loyalists have been fired or resigned.

The poll found that personal views of the governor are mixed. It found 44 percent of New Jerseyans hold a favorable impression of Christie while 28 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 28 percent are unsure.

One year ago, 70 percent had a favorable view of him personally while just 19 percent had a negative view.

When it comes to the bridge scandal, the poll found that most New Jersey residents believe he wants to get to the bottom of what happened, but don’t feel he has come clean with everything he knows.

Fifty-one percent said that Christie has not been completely honest about what he knows compared to 40 percent who said he’s come clean, the poll found.

“The don’t think he was actually involved in the actual design of this retaliation, only a third tell us that. But they do believe he knew more than he’s telling us, that he actually learned about this much earlier than last week,” Murray said.

For the full poll results, click here.

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by telephone with 541 New Jersey adults from Jan. 10 to 12, 2014. This sample has a margin of error of + 4.2 percent.

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