(CNN) – Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey received his highest approval ratings to date in a Quinnipiac survey, according to the results released Wednesday.
The poll showed 59% of New Jersey voters approved of the blunt talking governor, compared to 36% who did not. His rating increased among Republicans to 92% and among independent voters to 64%. However, 64% of Democrats disapproved of his performance.
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A February Quinnipiac poll showed Christie with a 52% rating.
The first term governor quickly gained a national reputation for his frank rhetoric and bold proposals, particularly over cuts to the Garden State budget, which put him at odds with many Democrats and unions in the state.
A majority of voters polled saw Christie as a leader, at 54%, while 39% characterized him as more of a bully. Fifty-eight percent of voters approved of Christie's handling of the state budget, while 54% backed his proposed 10% across-the-board state income tax cut.
Christie was an early supporter of Mitt Romney's presidential bid, after deciding last autumn against a White House run of his own. The former state district attorney consistently makes the short list of potential vice presidential picks but has said he intends to stay in the Trenton governor's mansion.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,607 registered voters between April 3 and April 9 with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.