Voters Shrug at Christie’s Traffic Scandal

Views on Christie unchanged for majority of Americans, says new poll

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Justin Lane / EPA

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivers his State of the State speech in the Assembly Chambers at the New Jersey State House in Trenton, N.J., January 14, 2014.

A majority of Americans haven’t changed their opinion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie following the politically perilous traffic scandal that has ensnared the Republican, according to a new poll.

More than one-third of voters haven’t changed their minds about Christie since the news broke last week, according to the NBC News/Marist Poll out Wednesday. But 16 percent of Americans like him less, and among those familiar with the snafu, 24 percent like him less.

The poll provides one of the earliest indicators of how the controversy—in which Christie aides snarled traffic in a north Jersey town, apparently as retribution for the town’s mayor not endorsing him—could impact the Republican’s 2016 presidential hopes.

With investigations still underway in New Jersey in Washington, it remains to be seen if Christie, who has apologized and fired a top aide involved, will see those unfavorable numbers tick up. Almost three-quarters of independent voters say their views haven’t changed.

“The question is can Chris Christie weather this political storm, or is this another in a list of considerable hurdles he will need to overcome if he wants to make a run for the White House,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Christie remains the marginal 2016 GOP frontrunner, according to the poll, albeit two years before any primary votes are cast. Christie leads the pack with 16 percent of Republicans backing him, followed by 12 percent for 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. But no one else breaks into double digits, and one quarter of Republicans are undecided.

Hillary Clinton remains widely popular with Americans, according to the poll, and would easily beat Christie by double digits if a general election were held today.

The survey of 1,200 adults, conducted Jan. 12 to Jan. 14, has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

39 comments
dolby6503
dolby6503

You mean the mainstream media is completely out of touch with what matters to the American people??? SHOCKING!

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

Intelligent people understand it's a media whip-up, especially since he is most likely to be their Saint Hillary's competition.

Christie has been accused of nothing, indicted of nothing and convicted of nothing. Media are the only ones who care.  (Frankly, I don't expect Hillary to run. She has a forthcoming book to hawk, so I think she's going the Sarah Palin route to sell books, keeping people hanging on.)

radpillay
radpillay

Why all the noise? It's just pollsters running around trying to make news and people telling them what they want to hear. Bottom line is - this guy is toast ... he's a bully and out of step with the national sentiment.  This is only the beginning,  take a look at the cast of characters that did the Ad (another group of Christie allies). It seems like this guy is surrounded by unsavory characters.     

zephbe
zephbe

What happened to the pension case?

Court orders Christie administration to reveal New Jersey pension probe secrets. Lt. Gov, Guadagno hired Michael W. Donovan Jr. as “chief of law enforcement division” at a $87,500 annual salary.  He already was collecting an $85,000 a year state pension as a retired investigator for the county prosecutor when he took the job with Guadagno. While double-dipping often is legal in New Jersey, this case was different.

Since the position of sheriff’s officer chief is covered by the pension system, Donovan should have been required to stop receiving pension benefits, re-enroll in the retirement plan and resume contributions to the pension fund.

Instead, Guadagno changed Donovan’s job title in several documents so her aide could get two checks, not just one, totaling $172,500 a year. However, on Guadagno’s organizational chart, Donovan was listed as chief of law enforcement. The position of chief warrant officer was not on the chart.

While sheriff’s chief, Donovan pocketed $227,000 in checks from PFRS. Since he did not re-enroll in the pension plan, he avoided another $18,000 in contributions. If the state decides Donovan violated pension law, he could be forced to repay $245,000.Guadagno also risks paying a legal price for her role.

Under state statute, “Any person who shall knowingly make any false statement or shall falsify or permit to be falsified any record or records of this retirement system…shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

"Only 16% of Americans like him less" This is just grandstanding. The only take away here is 1200 people in the survey. 

But they speak for America!! 

lossofgravity
lossofgravity

Christie: A Rude Man, with Crude Manners who Screwed Motorists. Bad for New Jersey and Bad for the Nation!

RB1
RB1

Didn't anyone think it rather odd that the emailed correspondence were so cryptic and familiar to the messengers that it reeked of a repeated behavior?  I would suggest from this clue that these retaliatory behaviors had been going on for who knows how long.  But it seems that the investigators so far don't want to delve into the potential for a much larger investigation into a pattern of power brokering.  I'd even wager that this state is not the only state with these issues and that there are a lot of email purging going on all over this country, right now!

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Rightists think this is perfectly appropriate behavior - not being in charge, not know what's going on, not being "in the loop" about what underlings are doing (and this includes actually knowing what's happening and by not intervening in it, tacitly approving of it).

That is, until it's done by a leftist.  Then it's Armageddon on Earth and the End Of The World and the WORST THING EVER DONE BY MAN.

Jesus Christ I hate people who let others do their thinking for them.

This was a crime, not a prank.  Anyone responsible should face charges.  If Christie wasn't involved, then one should at the very least question his oversight.  If he WAS involved, then he should face impeachment and charges as well.  It's that simple.  I'll wait for the verdict.  I'll make no other conclusions about it because unlike leftists and rightists, I don't base my opinions on my political ideology.  I base them on what really happened.

CharlesWilton
CharlesWilton

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - Abraham Lincoln

joyer29
joyer29

Just shows how much the media tries to tell us what is important. This was never as big as they made it out to be.

PaulDeters
PaulDeters

This article shows how we are a morally bankrupt country. Our elected officials can do any abusive thing and we're ok with it. This is the beginning of the end of this great nation.

RB1
RB1

This article simply reflects the decline of American values.  When our government leaders rule through corrupted values, like so many fallen governments throughout history have, what path awaits this nation?  Our governmental leadership is a reflection of our business community and the devolving standards that everyone else is slowly being indoctrinated into.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

This article is a plain concession that the media has utterly failed in its concerted effort to bring down Chris Christie.  Virtually every news outlet ran stories that bombarded the governor with charges, accusations (etc.) that would have reduced most other politicians to the status of roadkill in the eyes of the general voting public. 

Despite the bombardment, only 16% of Americans, "like him less."  How much less?  The article does not specify.  Unless the documents reveal Christie's direct involvement in 'Bridgegate,' do not expect this to hurt him in 2016 if he runs.  By then, he will be able to pass it off as speculation, and will not be afraid to rip any media outlet to shreds that dares to imply otherwise.

AmusedByItAll
AmusedByItAll

The extremely disturbing aspect of the debacle of Fort Lee lane closures is that exacting retribution from voters either for their selection of political leaders or for the legal and legitimate actions of those elected leaders smacks of an antidemocratic “banana republic” philosophy of American democratic processes.

Governor Christie solidifies that critique of his political philosophy with his frequent public bullying of random citizens who often pose valid and pertinent queries. He seems to use the power and protection that his position affords him, both to squelch legitimate policy and implementation questions and to intimidate the questioner. Since he now seems to be carrying that approach over to the treatment of his political opponents, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Governor with his intimidating tactics is openly demonstrating his preference, when he runs for political office, for political contests that more resemble single candidate plebiscites than free and open elections with more than one politically credible candidate.

In the future, shouldn’t Democratic, Independent, and Republican voters think long and hard about entrusting the safeguards of our American democracy in the hands of an individual who, at the very least, provided the leadership and a fertile environment for such an attitude to flourish among various individuals closest to their leader?

pdelfornia
pdelfornia

How about Fair & Balanced reporting ??? Where is the outrage over Hillary Clinton ordering the standing down of the Marines in protecting the US Embassy in Bhangazi resulting in 4 American deaths ??? Your limp wristed Liberal slip is showing !!!

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

It's impossible at this point to know what Christie's future is or how all these issues play out.  If, however, he emerges viable at the end of all this, it seems most likely that he'll capture a significant number of the "moderate" Republicans.  Unfortunately for Christie, this is but a small piece of the Republican pie.


Most Republicans, and certainly the majority of the most vocal Republicans, are rabidly committed to bringing back the 1950s, if not the 1850s.  Christie isn't likely to appeal to them much.  


Most Republicans froth at the mouth at the thought of President Obama, and have all sorts of nasty codewords that they use to describe him, largely to mask their obvious bigotry.  Christie, who gets along with Obama, isn't likely to appeal to them much either.


Further, most Republicans are against science, education, human services, black people, Latinos, gay people, foreigners of any stripe, health coverage, safe air, safe water, safe toys, safe cars, safe workplaces ... in fact, must Republicans are pretty much against everything and anything that helps people.  Christie, who has made a point of mingling with many of the constituencies that Republicans disdain, isn't likely to win points with them for those efforts either.


Then, as much as all this is cute, the issue of whom the GOP nominee will be running against is often neglected in all this.  The obvious choice is Hillary.  This has the GOP shivering in its Benghazi-wrapped boots.  It is clear that the relentlessness and shrillness of the Republicans' attacks on Hillary tell you that they're really concerned about her potential candidacy.


Given the Republicans' declared war on women (however much they deny it), and the fact that women -- especially single women -- are so badly turned off by the Republican party, a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy should have Republicans concerned.  


Christie is (from this vantage point) unlikely to prevail in the Republican nomination process.  Whoever does, however, faces not just Hillary (probably) but also the emptiness of the Republican agenda -- the fact that the Republicans are for nothing and against everything.  Christie or no Christie, Hillary or no Hillary, the GOP has handicapped itself and it's hard to see how they get out of that hole.

jsfox
jsfox

Voters shrug? Are you serious? Two weeks ago Christie was within the margin of error now he is 13 point loser. That is a heck of a shrug.

StephenVoss
StephenVoss

16% of Americans like Christie less now.


Christie was losing to Hilary by 3% last month. Now it's 13%.


And our big treat is still to come -- when the aides he fired must testify under oath.


Whether or not the fat man can hear her voice, the fat lady has sung. It's over.

MrBenGhazi
MrBenGhazi

@Bullsgt Do you not understand how statistics work? You do not need to ask literally each American their opinion to come up with an accurate poll. A reasonable sample size is all that is required.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@mrbomb13  Because, of course, it's all done now. The various state and federal investigations will turn up no other abuses of power.


These things always happen in a vacuum. 

jsfox
jsfox

I am have asked the folks at Time to stop forcing you to read it by holding a gun to your head. You are now free to go.

jsfox
jsfox

Given the fact that she did no such thing how can Time report on it?

Wisdomwithage
Wisdomwithage

@DavidStrayerPut it this way ... if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016 we might as well turn off the lights!

Wisdomwithage
Wisdomwithage

@StephenVossI get a kick out of left wing comments.  Obama clearly proves he's a pathological liar on Libya, the IRS, and NSA, yet he's still yet to be impeached.  Traffic is slowed on the GWB and the left wing sheep suddenly want a Governor's resignation?  Oh the hypocrisy!

StephenVoss
StephenVoss

When you have nothing, nothing, to say, change the subject.

Nothing left wing or pro Obama in my letter at all, was there?

If Christie wants to run he will not be running against Obama.

My point is pretty simple, but to get the point you'll need to keep your eye on the ball. Christie -- whoever he runs against -- is dead meat. And he's dead meat because he screwed thousands of citizens of the state of New Jersey.

traffikator
traffikator

@Wisdomwithage@StephenVoss 

Traffic did not just slow. It was a deliberate act that happened for several days. The hypocrisy is your refusal to see anything wrong with what happened, Even after the emal dump that we have, even with all the redaction, we can see corruption and criminality already.As for all the noise about the President, he has disappointed most of his base in his relentless efforts to please the Republicans who already hated him before he ran for the Presidency and are not going to stop at anything. Even to derail a process of getting Iran to agree to something no other President has been able to achieve. No way can we allow him that level of success. He deserves every bit of it. He promptly joined in the corruption when he railroaded and blocked the investigation of George Bush war crimes. Swept it all in container and made sure it was hermetically sealed. Instead of leaving Afghanistan when he had the chance he dug into the mire and quicksand. Hopefully we will get Hilary for 2016. You really are as ignorant and arrogant as the rest of your Teaparty haters. You do not seem to understand one thing. The majority of Americans hate your politics, hate your views, hate your values. t was rejected. And all your party can do is to use illegal means to force people to accept what they want instead of what the majority voted for. You are a part of why America has declined morally and otherwise. You don't get. It does not matter who you present or who the Democrats present. Yours is worst!

jsfox
jsfox

He lied on Libya?what was the lie? What was the IRS lie and the NSA lie. And did any of his supposed lies kill or wound 34,000 young Americans and 100s of thousand of Iraqis?