(NBC) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings in New Jersey have stabilized after their dramatic Bridgegate slide, but it’s not because of the internal review he commissioned, a new poll says.
The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll found that 51 percent of New Jersey residents approve of Christie’s job performance and 41 percent disapprove – similar to his ratings in February. But a majority of respondents (52 percent) said that the newly released probe into the Bridgegate matter by law firm Gibson Dunn was merely intended to “to help Chris Christie’s reputation.” Just three in ten New Jerseyans believe it was a “fair and unbiased investigation.”
The report cleared Christie of any wrongdoing. But critics pointed out the governor’s personal ties to the firm that conducted it and criticized the investigators for issuing a sweeping exoneration without interviewing several key witnesses. Other probes into the lane closure scandal are pending.
While most in the state don’t aren’t impressed by the Gibson Dunn review, the percentage of New Jerseyans who say Christie hasn’t been honest about the incident has been stable since the story broke at the beginning of the year. In the new poll, 61 percent of respondents said they don’t think Christie has “been completely honest about what he knows about the incident” – that’s unchanged since February.
And 47 percent say that they believe Christie was personally involved in the decision to close the toll lanes, compared to 50 percent in the previous poll.
Nationally, Christie's positives are less robust. A March NBC/WSJ poll found Christie with a 17 percent positive rating and a 32 percent negative rating -- down from 22 percent/29 percent in January, after the Bridgegate scandal first grabbed headlines.
The March poll also found Christie underwater with Democrats (15%/38%), independents (12%/28%), and even Republicans (23%/29%).