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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

By Melissa Hayes, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

TRENTON, N.J. — A majority of New Jersey residents believe Gov. Chris Christie is not being completely honest about what he knows about the George Washington Bridge lane closures despite an internal investigation released last week that absolved the Republican of any involvement in the incident, according to a new poll.

A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll found that 61 percent of New Jerseyans polled believe Christie has not come clean, while 32 percent said the governor has been completely honest about what he knows. Even after the report was released, 47 percent said they believe Christie himself was involved in the lane closures, a decrease of only 3 points from a February survey.

Of those questioned, 54 percent said they heard about the report released last Thursday. Only 30 percent described it as “a fair and unbiased investigation of the Governor’s involvement in the George Washington Bridge toll lane closings,” according to the poll. Fifty-two percent said the report was conducted to help Christie’s reputation.

The report — completed by a team led by attorney Randy Mastro, whom Christie hired — placed the blame for the lane closures on Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff that Christie fired, and David Wildstein, a gubernatorial appointee at the Port Authority who has since resigned. The poll found that 77 percent of New Jersey residents believe others were involved in the lane closures.

Christie’s job approval rating stands at 51 percent, a 1 point increase from the February poll, but still far below his rating when he won a second term last year, the poll found.

“The bleeding has stopped for now,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a statement. “The poll was conducted after the Mastro report was released, but this does not seem to be the reason why Christie’s ratings have stabilized. In fact, few New Jerseyans agree with the report’s conclusions.”

The poll surveyed 803 New Jersey adults from March 30 to April 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The internal investigation also looked at Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s claims that Christie’s administration threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy aid if she did not fast track a development. The report dismissed Zimmer’s allegations, but New Jerseyans aren’t as certain. Of those polled, 45 percent said they believe Zimmer, compared with 40 percent who said they do not. Support for Zimmer increases among those polled who said they were familiar with the internal investigation report, with 53 percent saying they believe her claims compared with 36 percent who said they do not.

“Considering the governor does worst among those who know about the Mastro investigation, it’s possible we could see a negative impact on Christie’s rating as more New Jerseyans become aware of the report’s contents,” Murray said in a statement.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    What? People in Noo Joisee think their Governor may have been less than honest? Quick – find out what exits they live near and close those lanes down! That’ll teach them to mess with the Tony Soprano of Politics!

  • Ford Truck

    “A majority of New Jersey residents believe Gov. Chris Christie is not being completely honest…” A majority of New Jersey residents are correct about the lying fat ass Republican!!

  • FT66

    I don’t believe him either and don’t live in New Jersey. I listened to Christie carefully last week when he was interviewed by the woman from the quite Unfair and sometimes Fair News Network. I couldn’t believe what I heard from Christie when he said: “People don’t care about baggages he carries, if you don’t have them, they will create them anyhow”. Really, people don’t care about Christie’s baggage? Really, they don’t care the closure of the bridge? Why is this man so quick to brush away his wrong doings and make people think he is clean like water? Does he think people have a low IQ to think for themselves and make their own judgement?

  • latebloomingrandma

    I wonder what the story would be if the Governor was Christine Christie, with same weight problem and same loud mouth, bullying personality? Can you imagine the epithets being thrown around? Would she be the darling of the GOP? I’m thinking Melissa McCarthy could play her in the movie, but she’s too funny. MR Christie is not funny.

  • Eric Oriol

    It is both sad and ironic that people will punish their children for lying ,yet they will accept bold face lies from politicians and preachers. Children do not owe such parents any respect whatsoever.

  • Eric Oriol

    I heard that an old woman died during those days they closed the lanes in question because the ambulance could not get to her fast enough.How come the family members are not suing? Maybe they have already gotten paid to go away quietly.Majority of Americans can be bought off with just 30 pieces of silver..

  • [email protected]

    I never believed that Chistie was going to be a national political leader in the first place. His problems are New Jersey’s problems.