Chris Christie update: Top advisor in the crosshairs

Also: Three new polls show Christie's still sinking due to fallout from "Bridgegate"

Published March 11, 2014 1:02PM (EDT)

Chris Christie                           (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Chris Christie (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has gone a few weeks now without any new major scandals arising, despite the fact that the state legislature as well as the U.S. attorney are still conducting investigations. New revelations that a longtime Christie confidante and ally is being investigated by the U.S. attorney in the state, however, raise questions over whether Christie's streak of relatively good fortune can possibly hold. And if a handful of new polls, which show the governor sinking and perhaps even underwater already, is any indication, Christie needs all the good luck he can get.

Here's the latest from Christie's world:

  • The Bergen Record reports that David Samson, a New Jersey powerbroker, longtime Christie ally and former New Jersey attorney general, had a subpoena in his name issued by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, only to have it withdrawn soon thereafter. The feds in Manhattan say they've withdrawn their subpoena because the U.S. attorney general for the state may in the near future issue a subpoena of its own, and because Manhattan is deferring to New Jersey in the overall investigation of Samson, the Port Authority and Bridgegate.
  • The Star-Ledger reports on two new polls, both of which show Christie's numbers continuing to trend in the wrong direction — and fast. In one poll, the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey, 44 percent of respondents said they did not approve of the job Christie was doing, while 41 said they did. The 3-point deficit is within the poll's margin of error, so Christie might not be quite in the red just yet, but he's nevertheless lost 20 points' worth of approval since November of 2013.
  • The other poll in the Star-Ledger report, this one a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of 729 registered voters, finds the number of respondents willing to describe Christie as trustworthy is down to 23 percent, a loss of 20 points since October 2013. Fifty-four percent of those polled said Christie was a "strong leader" — but this number, too, is well below previous scores and is the lowest Christie's received during his time as N.J.'s governor.
  •  Yet another new poll, this one from Iowa, that crucial first state in the party nominations process, shows 57 percent of Iowans disapprove of the way Christie's handled the Bridgegate controversy. Only 25 percent said they approved.
  • Despite these gloomy number, though, Businessweek's Joshua Green has a new piece insisting that Christie's position for the 2016 nomination is a lot better than one may think. Green's argument is basically comprised of two assertions: 1. The Tea Party-type voter isn't as influential within the GOP primary as many media members assume, and 2. Even if they were, Christie's well-received speech at CPAC, along with his top-5 placement in the convention's annual presidential straw poll, shows him to be far from unacceptable to a significant chunk of this group of Republicans.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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