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Poll: Bridge scandal erases Christie's post-Sandy strength

Rutgers-Eagleton poll

Gov. Chris Christie's (R-NJ) favorability rating has taken a tumble after the bridge scandal, returning to pre-Super Storm Sandy numbers.

Chris Christie was riding high after Super Storm Sandy with sky-high approval and favorability ratings across the ideological spectrum in New Jersey.

Now, for the first time since the bridge scandal broke, a poll finds that’s been erased.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds Christie’s favorability rating dropping from 65 percent before his re-elect to just 46 percent positive, 43 percent negative now. That was precipitated by a 26-point drop among Democrats. (An NBC/Marist poll released last week also found Christie’s favorability suffering nationally. He was a net-negative with 26 percent seeing him positively and 28 percent viewing him negatively.)

Christie’s job approval is still a solid 53 percent, but that’s down 15 points from November. Again, Democrats in this Democratic-leaning state, were the source of the biggest drop, down 22 points from 51 percent to 29 percent.

That Democrats in the state have largely abandoned Christie threatens to deflate what had been a carefully crafted message of bipartisanship ahead of a potential Christie run for president in 2016. It also could offer Christie some hope in a Republican primary, but his embracing President Obama in the aftermath of Sandy has rankled Republicans. 

The poll was conducted Jan. 14-19, partially before the allegations from Hoboken’s Democratic mayor that Christie’s administration withheld some Sandy funds for the town if the mayor didn’t support a development deal.