‘Bridgegate’ Eclipsed by Cold Weather

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Clearing snow in New York City on Jan. 3, 2014.

The first good news Gov. Chris Christie has heard in several days:

People were paying a lot more attention to the cold snap gripping the nation last week than they were the public apology that the Republican New Jersey governor made for an aide who ordered a traffic jam in a grudge against  a Democratic mayor.

And most people tell the Pew Research Center that their opinion of the politician widely viewed as a potential candidate for president in 2016 hasn’t changed. In Pew’s survey, 60 percent say they’re unmoved by “Bridgegate,” while 16 percent say they view Christie less favorably — and 6 percent more favorably.

The survey pf 1,006 adults conducted Jan. 9-12 found that that just 18 percent paid very close attention to Christie’s Jan. 9 apology for the highway lane closures leading to the George Washington Bridge ordered by his aides in September as political retribution against Fort Lee’s Mayor. Christie, saying he’d known nothing of the plot, fired the aide and went to Fort Lee in contrition following a 19,347-word apology at a nearly two-hour mid-day news conference carried live by CNN.

In contrast, 44 percent very closely followed news about the cold winter weather that gripped much of the U.S. and 28 percent tracked news about the economy.

The survey found that majorities of people aligned with both parties — 69 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Democrats — and also 60 percent of  independents said their opinion of Christie had not changed lately.

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