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Governor Christie's Popularity Soars To New Heights

By John McDevitt

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- It's the highest job approval Governor Chris Christie has ever had. At 74 percent, it's the highest of any New Jersey Governor in the 17 years that Quinnipiac has been polling the state, and the highest of any Governor in the seven states that Quinnipiac polls now.

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Seventy-one percent say Governor Christie deserves re-election.

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"Barbara Buono, the State Senator who is the probable Democratic opponent for him [in the 2014 gubernatorial race] -- he beats her 62 percent to 25 percent," says Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

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Christie also performs strongly among those surveyed in a hypothetical matchup for the White House in 2016.

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"If the Democrat was Andrew Cuomo or Hillary Clinton, Clinton beats him 49 percent to 45 percent -- within the margin of error -- and Cuomo trails him 54 percent to 36 percent in New Jersey," Carroll explains.

Carroll says Christie's response to Hurricane Sandy helped to boost his popularity.

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