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Nearly a third don't believe New Jersey's Christie on bridge scandal: Reuters/Ipsos Poll

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie departs City Hall in Fort Lee, New Jersey January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie departs City Hall in Fort Lee, New Jersey January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 30 percent of Americans believe New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knew that his staff intentionally created traffic jams by partially blocking access to the George Washington Bridge, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Christie, considered a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has denied any advance knowledge of the blockage, but only 28 percent of those surveyed believed him. The survey found 31 percent did not believe Christie and 41 percent said they did not know.

E-mails released last week appeared to show that members of Christie's staff planned the four-day lane closures in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in September to retaliate against the city's Democratic mayor because he had not endorsed Christie's re-election campaign.

Last week Christie fired an aide responsible for the closure and at a news conference repeatedly apologized for his staff's actions, while denying advance knowledge of the lane closures.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the bridge issue had not influenced how 49 percent of the survey subjects felt about Christie, while 26 percent viewed him less favorably and 3 percent had a more favorable opinion.

The poll of 1,245 Americans was taken between Friday and Tuesday. It has an overall credibility interval of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jim Loney and Dan Grebler)

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