Christie Faces Voter Doubts on Bridge Scandal Explanation

Seven months after a scandal erupted over traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge, almost half of New Jersey voters say they don’t believe Governor Chris Christie’s explanation.

Forty-seven percent of respondents in the Rutgers-Eagleton poll released today said they don’t believe Christie’s account at all, while 23 percent said they fully do. An additional 24 percent said they somewhat believe him and 6 percent are unsure.

Christie, a potential presidential candidate, has faced accusations since January that his allies engineered traffic jams at the bridge in September as retribution against a mayor who didn’t support his re-election. On Jan. 9, the 51-year-old Republican held an almost two-hour news conference in Trenton during which he apologized and denied any knowledge of a plot.

“Governor Christie is trying very hard to put all of this behind him as he appears to be exploring a presidential campaign,” David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University, said in a statement announcing the findings.

The bridge scandal is the subject of probes by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey and by a state legislative committee.

“If any indictments related to the various allegations come down, all bets are off,” Redlawsk said in the statement. “If not, Christie may well become a GOP front-runner again.”

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