New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has seen little change in his national favorability ratings since emails were released last week showing that his staff had intentionally caused a massive traffic snarl in a New Jersey town as a form of political payback, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll.
According to the new poll, 38 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the New Jersey governor, while 34 percent have an unfavorable view. Another 28 percent said they aren't sure.
Those figures are virtually unchanged compared to other surveys conducted over the course of the last month. A YouGov/Economist poll conducted Jan. 4-6 found Christie's favorable rating at 41 percent, as did another YouGov/Economist poll conducted in late December. A mid-December YouGov/Economist poll, which specifically identified Christie in a list of potential Republican candidates for president, found his national favorable rating at 36 percent.
The surveys also found little change in the percentage of Americans who said they had an unfavorable opinion of Christie or in the percentage of Republicans who said they had a favorable opinion.
Indeed, a Pew Research Center poll released earlier Monday found that 60 percent of Americans said their view of Christie was unchanged in the last few days. Sixteen percent said their opinion of Christie was less favorable, while 6 percent said it was more favorable. Even among those who were following the bridge scandal "very" or "somewhat" closely, 57 percent said their opinion was unchanged.
The HuffPost/YouGov and Pew surveys together show that many Americans have heard about the bridge scandal, but relatively few are following it closely. In the HuffPost/YouGov poll, 43 percent said they had heard a lot about "a controversy involving Chris Christie and traffic on a major bridge between New Jersey and New York," while 35 percent said they had heard a little and 23 percent said they had heard nothing at all. In the Pew survey, however, only 18 percent said they were following the story very closely, while another 21 percent were following it fairly closely, 19 percent were following it not too closely, and 41 percent weren't following it closely at all.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll also found a division over whether Christie was telling the truth when he denied knowing about his staff's involvement in causing the massive traffic jam. Twenty-six percent said he was telling the truth, 25 percent said he was lying, and 49 percent said they weren't sure.
Among Republicans, 10 percent said they definitely would support Christie if he were running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and another 35 percent said they would consider supporting him. Twenty-four percent said they would not consider supporting Christie, and 27 percent said it was too soon to say.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Jan. 9-10 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.