Poll: Majority questions Christie's claims

A majority of the public does not believe New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) assertion that he was unaware of the bridge scheme, a new poll indicates.

Fifty-eight percent said they have not believed Christie's denials about the scandal, according to a USA Today/Pew Center survey released Monday.

Since 2013, Christie’s unfavorable rating has significantly worsened, rising 17 percentage points. 

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Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they are aware of the George Washington Bridge scandal.

The story has tarnished Christie’s administration over the last several weeks. Documents revealed the governor’s top aides orchestrated lane closures on the bridge that connects New York to New Jersey in September in an act of political retaliation. Christie fired and cut ties to the people who participated, and denied being aware of their involvement.

Although close to 60 percent don’t believe Christie’s claims, 32 percent do believe them, according to the poll.

More than 60 percent of Democrats and independents said they don’t believe Christie, while Republicans are split. Around half of GOP voters, 48 percent, believed the governor, and 42 percent did not.

Christie had been considered a frontrunner for the GOP presidential race in 2016. Despite the scandal, about half of Republicans still view him favorably.