TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- New Jersey voters have cooled toward Gov. Chris Christie after reports of "malicious politicking" by his staff, a university poll released Tuesday indicated.
A statewide poll of registered voters found Christie's job approval is down by double digits from October, the last time the question was posed, and the percentage of those saying they dislike the governor has jumped, officials with Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind said Tuesday in a release.
In recent weeks it was revealed members of Christie's staff closed lanes on the busy George Washington Bridge because a Democratic mayor failed to endorse Christie's re-election bid. Christie, mentioned as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has denied knowledge of the move.
Results indicate 48 percent of respondents say they approve of the job Christie's doing as governor while 39 percent say they disapprove. In October, the last time the same question was asked, 62 percent gave the governor high marks, virtually unchanged from figures in the months after Hurricane Sandy.
"The allegations of malicious politicking in his administration are taking their toll," said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Twenty-seven percent say they dislike everything about the governor while 38 percent said they liked the governor and his policies.
Concerning Bridgegate and whether Christie was aware of the lane closures before emails and texts were made public, 53 percent said they believe it's unlikely he did not know about the closures in advance.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 734 registered voters in New Jersey conducted Jan. 20-26. The margin of error is 3.6 percentage points.