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Poll: Will 'Bridgegate' Revelations Hurt Christie's Presidential Chances?

Emails and text show the governor's lieutenants were behind the Fort Lee traffic tie-ups, but will Christie lose points because of it?

The Christie administration got its hand caught in the cookie jar this week. Documents provided to the press show Gov. Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly giving the signal to a Port Authority official to shut down access lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge in order to get back at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” wrote Kelly to David Wildstein, Interstate Projects Director at the authority.

The emails and texts also mention two-time Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and chief spokesman Michael Drewniak, indicating that they knew about the controversy if not before, then certainly shortly after the incident. This was at the same time that Christie was scoffing at the notion that his administration had anything to do with the lane closures. The governor now says he was misled by a member of his staff, presumably Kelly, and is outraged.

The fallout and investigation promise to go on for some time, since "Bridgegate," as it is being called, has become a national story. Trenton was packed with national press yesterday. Today promises more of the same, with hearings scheduled at the Statehouse and in Mercer County Superior Court, where Wildstein is attempting to quash his subpoena to testify. With calls for other investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the U.S. Congress, the story could last a long time.

Do you think this incident will seriously affect Christie’s presidential ambitions?

  • Yes. That dream is gone. Christie’s popularity is due to his reputation as a straight-shooter who just wants to reach across the aisle to get things done. This story completely dismantles that image

  • Yes. President? He’ll be lucky to remain governor. This story reminds me of Watergate: a seemingly inconsequential burglary that led to the discovery of widespread dirty tricks that eventually took down the most powerful executive in the nation. Let’s just sit back and watch it all come out.

  • It’s much too early to tell. We haven’t gotten the full story yet; Christie has yet to be tied to it directly; and it’s unclear whether the public really cares about this story anyway.

  • No. It may look bad now but it will all blow over eventually. A presidential campaign is still two years away. Think of how presidents have weathered scandals worse than this and still got elected.

  • No. This is really much ado about nothing, and the Democrats are just trying to score points. Christie is popular for good reasons and a few rogue lieutenants aren't going to slow him down.

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