N.J. residents say it's 'unlikely' Gov. Christie was ignorant of 'Bridgegate'

A new poll finds 53 percent of respondents doubt N.J. Gov. Chris Christie's claim that he didn't know about the 'Bridgegate' scheme in advance. Guess who is attending Gov. Christie's State of the Union address?

By , Associated Press

A majority of respondents in a new poll say it's unlikely that Gov. Chris Christie didn't know about a plan to close lanes to a heavily traveled bridge between New Jersey and New York.

The Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind poll out Tuesday finds 53 percent of respondents doubt Christie's claim that he didn't know about the 'Bridgegate' scheme in advance.

“A defining characteristic of the governor has been the public’s perception that he can be relied upon to speak honestly about issues that are both easy and difficult. At least on this issue, the public seems to be saying that, on balance, there’s more to the story than he’s so far revealed,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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The Republican governor's approval rating also has fallen 14 points since October. Forty-eight percent of respondents approve of Christie, while 39 percent disapprove.

The decision by Christie aides to back up traffic in a North Jersey town is being watched by 85 percent of survey respondents.

The poll of 734 registered New Jersey voters was taken from Jan. 20-26 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

In other 'Bridgegate' news, a key figure in the New Jersey bridge scandal will attend the State of the Union speech.

Congressman Bill Pascrell has invited Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich to the House chamber for Tuesday's address.

Pascrell says he's not trying to send a message about the bridge scandal.

The Democrat tells The Record newspaper that he invited someone from Passaic County last year and wanted to ask someone from Bergen County this year. Pascrell says the mayor has exhibited a "standup attitude" on the bridge issue.

Officials are examining whether key Christie appointees ordered traffic lanes in Fort Lee leading to the George Washington Bridge closed because the mayor wouldn't endorse the Republican governor's re-election campaign.

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