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Christie's numbers mostly stable in post-scandal polling

Opinions of Chris Christie haven’t changed much in the days since the emergence of a bridge lanes-closing controversy involving the New Jersey governor, according to new polling out Monday.

Pew Research poll conducted over the weekend found that 60 percent of Americans' opinion of Christie hasn't changed since the emergence of the scandal, in which a Christie aide collaborated with a Port Authority official to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge as retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.

Six percent of Americans have a more favorable opinion of Christie in the controversy's aftermath, while 16 percent have a less favorable opinion of the Republican contender for the 2016 presidential nomination.

The scandal's impact hasn't yet dented Christie's numbers in New Jersey, either. A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released on Monday found Christie with a 59 percent job approval rating among Garden Staters, a slight six-point decline since December. But a slight majority of New Jerseyans -- 52 percent -- believe Christie's explanation that he wasn't involved in the decision to close lanes on the bridge last September.

Nationally, the story's impact is slightly more pronounced among respondents in Pew's poll who said they paid more attention to the scandal. Twenty-nine percent of those respondents said the story inspired a less favorable impression of Christie, and 11 percent said they had a more favorable impression. Still, 57 percent of respondents who paid attention to BridgeGate said their opinion of Christie was unchanged.

The numbers could continue to shift, though, as the story -- which remains in its infancy -- sets in or fades away. Polling over the weekend, as Pew did with this poll, is also considered somewhat less reliable than polling during the week.

The Pew poll was conducted Jan. 9-12 and has a 3.6 percent margin of error for its whole sample, and a 5.4 percent margin of error for the subsample of respondents who have followed the Christie story "very" or "fairly" closely.

The Monmouth/Asbury Park Press poll was conducted Jan. 10-12, and has a 4.2 percent margin of error.