New Jersey governor Chris Christie has faced weeks of scrutiny after emails were released in January suggesting that on Sept. 10, 2013, members of the governor’s staff deliberately caused major traffic problems on the George Washington Bridge in an act of political revenge.
The Republican governor, who originally announced that his administration was uninvolved, has fired members of his staff, apologized, and engaged in a press conference. However, questions remain about Christie’s truthfulness as he has been implicated in more scandals since the initial scandal became national news.
According to David Redlawsk, a political science professor at Rutgers University, “That [trust] appears to have evaporated outside of the GOP while dropping significantly among Republicans as well.”
Some citizens agree with Redlawsk. Forty-three percent of participants in a New Jersey Politics poll thought Christie was “trustworthy” before the scandal, but that number has now dropped to 27%.
For Christie, who is often portrayed as a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, this could present problems. According to one potential constituent in Southern California, this may damage Christie’s chances to win the office.
“Considering the extent of his involvement in the affairs of his subordinates, there is no reason why he would [not be involved in the bridge closing],” says Ayden Kinchla, a student attending North Hollywood High School who is involved in the YMCA’s Youth and Government program and who plans to vote for president in the 2016 election.
According to Kinchla, “While people easily forget things like this, [the scandal] could easily be used against him if his opponents bring it up.”