Christie, the Bridge, and the Polls
Via First Read: Poll: Christie cruising through bridge scandal (so far)
According to the survey, 18 percent of American adults say the scandal makes them like Christie less, compared with 5 percent who say it makes them like him more.
But a whopping 69 percent say it hasn’t changed their opinion of the New Jersey governor.
Still, a combined 71 percent of respondents say they know either “a lot” or “some” about the story.
In addition, a plurality – 44 percent – believe Christie is mostly telling the truth, 33 percent say he’s not and another 23 percent are unsure.
All well and good, although changing the opinion of almost 1/5th of adults in the negative may be a less that “cruising through” the situation. (And one would prefer, I would think, that more than a plurality thought one was telling the truth).
And, as much as I am trying to avoid horse race discussion about 2016, the following numbers do, perhaps, give a better understanding of how these events have affected public views:
Despite those numbers, Christie has lost ground to Hillary Clinton in an early hypothetical presidential match up. In this current poll, he trails Clinton by 13 points, 50 percent to 37 percent among nationwide voters.
But in the same poll a month ago, Clinton’s lead was a mere three points, 48 percent to 45 percent.
Of course, there is no guarantee that either candidate will run, let alone that either (or both) will be nominated. Still, from a public opinion analysis point of view, that number tells us more than does the generic “Overall, do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of Chris Christie?” question. In other words, I don’t think that the horse race numbers tells us anything about 2016, but it does tell us that, yes, the bridge scandal has had a discernable, negative affect on public views of Christie.
The whole poll can be found here.