(CNN) – In the midst of Chris Christie's cross-country sweep, the New Jersey governor is experiencing a resurgence in home state popularity.
According to a new survey released Tuesday, the chief executive's approval ratings have recovered from a dismal spring.
Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll indicates that Christie's approval rating jumped ten percentage points from 44 percent in May to 54 percent in September. Thirty-six percent still disapprove of the governor's performance, but the number is down from the 44 percent who disapproved in May. Well-received preparations for Hurricane Irene and action on state pensions and benefits reform are credited with boosting public opinion over the summer.
Christie's popularity with fellow Republicans rings true in New Jersey where his approval rating is split among party lines with 81 percent of GOP voters saying they approve of the way he's handling his job and 54 percent of Democrats saying they disapprove. Almost eight in 10 Republicans say he's doing an excellent-or good-job as governor and 76 percent of Democrats say it is "only fair" or poor.
And his favorability ratings have flipped. Roughly half of Garden State voters say they have a favorable view of Christie and four in ten say they have an unfavorable opinion. Back in May state budget struggles took their toll on Christie's image–four in ten said they had a favorable view of the governor at that time and 45 percent said they an unfavorable view.
Christie's reputation as a tough-talking, hard-line conservative has resonated nationwide as pressure mounts for him to join the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination within the party. Some race watchers wouldn't mind if he ended up with a VP nod, but the governor continues to balk at 2012 talk.
Even GOP South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tweeted Tuesday, "Lots of chatter. Should Chris Christie run for President?"
Christie, who was recently appointed to the number two spot in the Republican Governor's Association, will address the Perspectives on Leadership Forum at the Reagan Presidential Library late Tuesday at the invitation of former first lady Nancy Reagan.
But his spokesperson told CNN Monday not to expect any announcement regarding presidential politics.
"Governor Christie will deliver a speech tomorrow at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library entitled, "Real American Exceptionalism," said Maria Comella. "The speech uses President Reagan's transformative leadership to depict how the United States' role and significance in the world is defined by who we are at home."
The Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll was conducted from September 19-25 among 800 registered voters in New Jersey. It has a sampling error or plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.