(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's numerous statements that he's not interested in running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination appears to be resonating with residents in his home state, according to a new poll.
And a Rutgers University/Eagleton Institute of Politics survey released Friday also indicates that a plurality of New Jersey residents think President Barack Obama deserves re-election next year.
Forty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say Obama deserves to be re-elected, with 39 percent saying no and 13 percent not sure. Independent voters are split, with four in ten saying the president deserves another term, 42 percent disagreeing, and 18 percent undecided.
As for who should be the GOP presidential nominee, 13 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican say former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with Christie at 12 percent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 11 percent. No other potential candidates were in double digits. Forty-two percent of Republicans and Republican leaners did not name a preferred challenger to Obama.
"November is far off, but it is clear Christie is not the default choice of New Jersey Republicans," says David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. "This is probably due mostly to his continuing denial of interest in running. But were he running, I suspect many would line up behind him."
In 2009 Christie pulled off an upset victory over Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. Since his election, he has drawn national attention for pushing budget cuts through a Democratic state legislature, and for his often outspoken style. But Christie has repeatedly said he is not interested in making a bid for his party's presidential nomination next year.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll was conducted Feb. 24-26, with 912 adults in New Jersey questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
READ FULL POLL HERE