Chris Christie’s Reputation Dinged Again as Scandals Stack Up
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had a rough year, and his image has been taken on the same roller coaster ride, finally grinding to a halt where it now rests — right where it was before Hurricane Sandy. In the midst of recovery from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Christie gained a strong following and received praise for his management of the devastation, putting him forward as a likely 2016 presidential candidate.
Then came the Bridgegate scandal in September, with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge organized by top Christie aides resulting in extreme traffic. Though Christie quickly fired those involved, including his top aide, Bridget Ann Kelly, he didn’t escape accusations that the closure — and even aspects of Sandy assistance — were related to political maneuverings. Specifically, he was accused of refusing aid to towns where Democratic mayors would not endorse his re-election as governor.
A poll released by Rutgers University on Wednesday emphasized just how far Christie has slipped in public opinion, with a mere 38 percent of voters in New Jersey approving of his post-Sandy efforts. This constitutes a significant decrease from his earlier polling and leaves 54 percent disapproving of his response to Hurricane Sandy. As for Bridgegate accusations, 47 percent “think it is very unlikely Christie did not know about the plan” and 52 percent say they “do not believe at all the governor’s explanation,” per Rutgers.