Pew Poll: 60 Percent Say “Opinion of [Christie] Hasn’t Changed”

Daniel Doherty

1/14/2014 7:15:00 AM - Daniel Doherty

Good news for Team Christie. Most people aren’t paying attention to Bridgegate, or perhaps don’t care all that much, it seems. But as Guy wrote last week, if it later comes out that the governor was less-than-honest with the public -- this political set-back will become a full-fledged scandal.

And therefore, his chances of becoming president will plummet, along with his credibility:

 photo pewchristiepoll_zpsf02b30c1.png

Amazingly, Christie’s interminable press conference lasted hours (he muttered no less than 20,000 words), but only about 18 percent of respondents said they tuned in “very closely”:

 photo pewchristiepoll2_zps7f5d32ba.png

Again, this political scandal -- at least for the time being -- seems relatively benign. He fired those who lied to him, and he apologized to all wounded parties involved. And, in fact, six percent of respondents now say they view the governor “more favorably.” I imagine that’s because he owned up for what happened, terminated two of his top lieutenants, and conducted himself as transparently as humanely possible during that press conference. Naturally, the media zeroed in on the scandal -- Meet the Press was particularly obsessed with it -- but the public seems more concerned about cold weather than political retribution in the Garden State. His approval ratings, meanwhile, are still solid.

The bigger scandal, I think, is that he may have inappropriately used Sandy relief funds to advance his own re-election bid. If true, and federal auditors find evidence of wrongdoing, I suspect Bridgegate will be nothing more than a distant memory when that story breaks.