(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he had no knowledge or involvement in the closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, and according to a new national poll, a plurality of Americans believe him.
An NBC News/Marist survey released Wednesday also indicates that nearly seven in 10 say the bridge controversy has not changed their opinion of Christie, and nearly half describe him as a "strong leader," with only a quarter labeling him a "bully."
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But the poll suggests that Christie, who's seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016, has lost ground to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical presidential election matchup.
The poll was conducted entirely after Christie apologized at a news conference last Thursday for the closure of access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge for four days in September, which caused massive traffic jams on the New Jersey side of the bridge and entangled the governor in the biggest political controversy of his career.
Poll: Most in New Jersey believe Christie, but half say controversy could impact 2016
Christie fired a senior aide and other associates who appear to be connected to the access lane closures have left their jobs.
Documents released so far in an investigation into the scandal suggest the Christie aides orchestrated the traffic tie-ups in an alleged case of political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, who declined to endorse the governor for re-election.
Did Christie know?
"I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution, and I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here," Christie said last week.
The poll indicates that 44% of the public believes Christie is mostly telling the truth, with one in three saying he’s not and nearly a quarter unsure.
Sixty-nine percent of those questioned say the controversy hasn't changed their opinion of Christie with 18% saying the scandal's made them like Christie less, with just 5% saying they now like him more.
At last Thursday's news conference, Christie declared that "I am not a bully," in response to questions about his brash style of politics. Nearly half of those polled say Christie comes across as a "strong leader," with a quarter describing him as a "bully."
More than seven in 10 say they know a lot, or some, about the controversy.
The poll indicates that Christie's lost ground to Clinton in a possible 2016 matchup.
Christie trails the former Secretary of State by 13 percentage points. He was only down 3 points last month. And the survey suggests that Christie's small advantage over other possible contenders for the GOP nomination has shrunk in the past month.
The NBC News/Marist poll was conducted January 12-14, with 1,200 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
It hasn't changed my mind. I thought he was a bully before and didn't like him. I still have the same feelings now.
Whether he knew or not. He should of> Same with the BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR, OBAMMY. If Christie knew about the closure, than shouldn't Obammy know about Ben Ghazi ??? IRS??? Fast and furious??? NSA??? Point being if you give one a pass, you give em all a pass. They both should be removed from office.
Who exactly is pushing so hard for Christie?
Is Christie saying " I am not a bully" like Nixon saying "l am not a crook" ? Sounds awfully familiar and a little creepy!!!
Compared to Obama.........Christie is a SAINT!
Frankly I have never cared for Governor Christies public displays of being condescending toward ANYONE that would dare to question his authority. I ask EVERYONE reading this a simple question. How do you claim to work with people across the aisle when we now see his people snubbing the Democratic Mayors in his state because they would not support him?? Think about the arrogance it takes to think you have the right to force a Mayor in the OTHER party to endorse you!! Frankly it blows my mind!
Bye Bye Crispie Cream. Please bring back Romney and Sarah Palin. Somewhere, they are shaking their heads and saying what were you thinking of.
"Poll: Most Americans haven't changed their mind about Christie"
Is not going to be Christie nor Clinton. The next president is someone else. Just watch.
Funny how everyone gets all mad about Chris Christie's staff and this Bridgegate stuff... but where is the same anger when HILLARY allowed those people, our people, to be murdered in Benghazi, or where is the anger about IRS scandal, or NSA scandal, or Fast and Furious.... Why is Eric Holder still around, ... why when Obama says "someone will be held accountable" (and no one is) does he get a pass,... yet Christie says "someone will be held accountable" and DOES !!! I LIKE HIM NOW MORE THAN BEFORE. KNOW WHAT? I guess I'm one of the 5%
I haven't changed my mind.
I knew he was a bully and a loudmouth since before Hurricane Sandy and his Obama hug!
Not presidential material at all.
He should be given the benefit of the doubt unless PROVEN otherwise. At least he isn't responsible for the murder of Americans like Clinton. But then she, like Obama,will never except responsibility ofr her many failures and lies
As a Democrat, I am taking a wait-and-see attitude on all of this. I think that Christie's staff acted on their own. They are part of a party that thinks that anything goes. HInt: Ted Cruz, et al. shutting down the government to defund the Affordable Care Act, knowing all the while that they could not do it. Those fools are crazy.
He set the tone for his staff's bullying. He also never dug in when he saw there were unexplained problems. He also showed the great flaw of bad judgement in hiring and promoting criminal staff.
That certainly explains at he a fox lies about Benghazzi.
Just another disgusting loud mouth politician "same ole same ole" oooooof course he knew – only a stupid idiot would believe otherwise. Well now you know what he is capable of So before you nominate him for president of this great land.. beware of his nature and pass conduct.. You better not cross this bully! He's definitely Not likely to forget it, lol
"But the poll suggests that Christie, who's seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016, has lost ground to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical presidential election matchup."
"Christie trails the former Secretary of State by 13 percentage points. He was only down 3 points last month."
Hi. CNN, let me tell you something. 10 points is not "losing ground," that's a "plummeted" at best.
Take the same poll a week from now....Polls lag the events by about 2 weeks. Who doesn't know that by now? Somebody is selling an early poll...
Polls LAG behind events by about 2-3 weeks.Common knowledge.
The way he runs his office (and his mouth) should be cause for concern.
Most Americans are also overweight. Maybe it's the law of attraction.
Much to the joy of the republican party. As long as the people are easily led, the better. Make sure to ask that person if it's okay to shine their shoes. Stay safe.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is as clean as a baby's bottom ?