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Christie falls further, as Sandy-bolstered approval erodes

Gov. Chris Christie’s credibility has nosedived in the wake of the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leaves a session of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting at the JW Marriott in Washington on Feb. 22, 2014.

It was no huge shock when Gov. Chris Christie’s credibility and approval nosedived in the wake of the ‘Bridgegate' scandal, but now voters are unhappy with the governor's Sandy recovery -- the effort that at the time rocketed him onto a national stage.

Since the scandal came to light, Christie's approval rating has fallen 20 points to 49% among registered New Jersey voters and 50% of all New Jerseyans, according to the latest Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll. Even more detrimental, just 45% gave the governor an above-average grade on the Sandy recovery -- a big drop from five months ago when 72% ranked the governor above average on the recovery.

Shortly after the scandal broke, New Jersey Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone announced that the federal government would be investigating whether or not federal Sandy aid money was misused to promote the governor in tourism ads.

Perception of the governor’s involvement in the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal that has marred his second-term so far is also up: half of all New Jerseyans now believe the Republican governor was involved in closing lanes leading up to the George Washington Bridge, causing a massive traffic jam as political retribution. That’s up one third from a month ago.

Another 61% also believe he’s not being totally honest about what he knows, too.

2016 speculation isn't helping the governor with voters: A full 56% of New Jersey voters also believe Christie is more interested in his own future than doing his current position.

Christie has sought to change the conversation onto schools and the budget.