Poll: Americans Not Actually Obsessed With Christie Scandal

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 13 2014 6:56 PM

Poll: Americans Not Actually Obsessed With Christie Scandal

Who's this person, again? Oh, is he the guy in those tourism commercials?

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Every month or so, the Pew Research Center conducts a poll to find out what the hell people are actually paying attention to in the news. This was how we knew, back in May 2013, that 44 percent of people were following Republican investigations into the Benghazi attack "very" or "fairly" closely, and that a relatively low 26 percent of people were tracking the George Zimmerman trial.

With those numbers forming our baseline, the interest in Chris Christie's Bridgeghazi is looking sickly.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 9-12 among 1,006 adults, finds that just 18% paid very close attention to Christie’s apology on Jan. 9 for the highway lane closures ordered by his aides. By contrast, 44% very closely followed news about the cold winter weather that gripped much of the U.S. and 28% tracked news about the economy.

Even the Senate fight over unemployment insurance was getting more attention, a fact that's comforting to those of us based in D.C., covering Congress, and less comforting to the people who lack unemployment insurance.

Should we be surprised by the low number? Well, the circumstances of this story were always going to light it up in the national press. You had an incident in the New York metro area, where most of the bigfoot media lives; you had a likely presidential candidate possibly undone by hubris. Had, say, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber gotten embroiled in the same situation, it's impossible to imagine the same level of coverage.

Still, godspeed to the NJ/PA/NYC reporters FOIAing themselves raw to break more stories.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.