The Christie Scandal Has Legs

Shafer predicts that it will go on and on and on:

Like so many scandals, this one has been fueled by an official investigation. Lacking subpoena power to gather evidence and compel testimony, journalists depend on those who do have such powers, and in the bridge case it’s the state legislature. Both branches of the New Jersey legislature are controlled by Christie’s political enemies, the Democrats. … [N]o matter what anybody tells you, Chris Christie is the quarry here, not any of his staff or appointees. As mentioned above, testimony, subpoenas, and investigations stoke the news furnace whether they’re productive or not. Add a presidential front-runner such as Christie to the mix and political contention — not just within New Jersey but across the border into New York, where Gov. Cuomo and members of his party are glad to help hurt Christie — and you’ve got the makings of a long-running story.

But Christie’s polling hasn’t taken much of a hit, yet:

[L]ook at the Monmouth poll, the only one taken in New Jersey since the scandal began. … Republicans are sticking by Christie, giving him an 89% approval rating which is in line with the 85% GOP support he received last month. The Republican uptick is a better omen for Christie than anything else in the poll. There are conservatives who, like M. Stanton Evans once said of Nixon and Watergate, like the governor better because of the scandal.

Update: An NBC poll released today also finds that the scandal hasn’t damaged Christie as much as you might expect:

Nearly 70 percent of Americans say the bridge-closure scandal engulfing Chris Christie has not changed their opinion about the New Jersey governor, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll. In addition, 44 percent of respondents believe he’s telling the truth about his knowledge of the events surrounding the controversy.

And far more Americans view him as a strong leader rather than as a bully.

But the survey also shows that the potential 2016 Republican candidate has lost ground to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an early hypothetical presidential match up and now trails her by 13 points.