(CNN) - He says he's not, but if Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey runs for the White House, he will face some stiff competition from President Barack Obama, according to a new poll of Garden State voters.
The Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday indicates the president beating the New Jersey governor in a hypothetical match up by a 52 to 39 percent margin, and garnering a higher job approval and likeability rating. But registered voters believe Christie, by a 53 to 41 percent margin, when he says he is not running for president.
His job approval in New Jersey fell to 47 percent, down five points from February. Eighty percent of Republicans questioned said they approve of how Christie's doing in office, with a 55 percent approval from independent voters and a 75 percent disapproval from Democrats.
When asked to describe their blunt governor in one word, the survey indicates New Jersey voters overwhelmingly chose "bully." "Arrogant," "good," "aggressive" and "strong" also topped the list.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,532 registered voters in New Jersey by telephone from April 12 to April 18. The poll has an overall sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.