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Poll: Most in NJ think Christie should have been defendant in Bridgegate trial

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Most New Jersey voters think Gov. Chris Christie should have been a defendant in the “Bridgegate” trial, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

{mosads}Seventy-one percent of respondents said Christie should have been a defendant in the trial and only 23 percent disagreed, the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found.

Last month, top allies to Christie were convicted of involvement in a scheme to close down lanes on the George Washington Bridge to exact political retribution.

Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, were convicted on charges including conspiracy, fraud and deprivation of civil rights.

Following the verdict, Christie claimed he “had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments and had no role in authorizing them” and said he was “saddened” by the choices made by his top aides.

The investigation and subsequent trial over the 2013 incident has been a stain on Christie’s political career since the first accusations. His aides were accused of closing lanes to create a traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., because the town’s Democratic mayor refused to endorse Christie for reelection. 

The poll released Tuesday found that 82 percent of registered voters thought there were others responsible for the lane closings who should have been tried.

The governor’s job approval has also reached another low, according to the poll. Only 18 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Christie’s job performance, and 73 percent disapprove. 

Only 20 percent are content with the direction the state is headed, and 70 percent think the state is heading down the wrong path.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 among 836 registered voters in New Jersey. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.

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