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Christie’s Job Performance Rating Tumbles in Quinnipiac Poll

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Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating has dropped to its lowest level in 16 months following revelations that his appointees ordered politically motivated lane closures that led to traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge.

Fifty-five percent of voters surveyed for a Quinnipiac University poll released today said they approved of Christie’s job performance. That’s down from 74 percent in February 2013, four months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the state’s coastline and Christie won praise for his response. The previous low was 53 percent in September 2012.

“Christie is doing better with the public than with the news media,’” Maurice Carroll, the poll’s director, said in a statement. “His job approval has dropped from the stratosphere, but it’s still double-digit positive, pretty much where he was before his Superstorm Sandy hug with President Barack Obama.”

The governor apologized Jan. 9 for the closing of two of three approach lanes to the bridge in Fort Lee, increasing a usually 30-minute trip to as much as four hours. He said he knew nothing about his aides’ orders to close the lanes to paralyze traffic in Fort Lee, a borough of 35,700 at the end of the bridge, whose Democratic mayor didn’t endorse Christie for re-election.

Christie fired Bridget Anne Kelly, 41, a deputy chief of staff, whom he said lied when he asked senior aides whether anyone on his team was involved in the closures.

Pollsters surveyed 1,207 New Jersey voters Jan. 10-13. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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