By
Morning Joe
updated 2/20/2013 1:52:44 PM ET 2013-02-20T18:52:44

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a 74 percent approval rating among the state's voters, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Yet Christie still trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a potential 2016 match up.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a 74 percent approval rating among the state’s voters, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. And while 22 percent disapprove of Christie’s job, 74 percent is the highest approval rating of any New Jersey governor in the 17-year history of the Quinnipiac University surveys.

This is the kind of approval rating that will seemingly fair Christie well in New Jersey’s November gubernatorial elections.

Willie Geist called the number remarkable for a Republican governor in a “blue-ish” state who’s taken on some tough fights.

About 56 percent of the states Democrats approve of Christie, the poll also shows.

The straight-talking Christie first took office in 2010 after winning against Democrat Jon Corzine, who sought re-election with his own approval rating hovering at roughly 46 percent.

“You don’t get those numbers by being a hardened ideologue,” said Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, who has had at least one memorable public discussion with Christie.  “Chris Christie has shown he is more than willing to go after his own party, go after President Obama, but it’s all, from his perspective, doing what’s right for the people of his state. And his state is responding to him positively.”

Also, of those Democrats who say they approve of Christie, 48 percent say he deserves re-election.

Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner did express skepticism over whether or not Christie would be ready for a political stage beyond New Jersey.

“We’ve got to see how that personality works. He can’t run around telling everybody to ‘get a life’ all the time and necessarily have it translate into a national candidacy,” he said.

The poll also showed that currently, in a potential 2016 match up against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 49 percent of voters favored Clinton to the 45 favoring Christie. The poll also shows that in a 2016 match up against current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is also rumored to be considering a presidential run, Christie leads 54 to 36 percent.

Video: Chris Christie approval rating at 74 percent in new Quinnipiac poll

  1. Closed captioning of: Chris Christie approval rating at 74 percent in new Quinnipiac poll

    >>> got some fresh polling out from quinnipiac university . new jersey governor chris christie 's approval rating now at 74% in that state . that's the highest the survey has ever recorded for a governor in the state of new jersey . when it comes to a potential matchup in the 2016 presidential race, because why not, hillary clinton gets 49% against chris christie . he gets 45%. in another potential showdown, governor christie tops new york governor andrew cuomo , 54% to 36%. jonathan capehart down in washington, but those 2016 numbers aside, you just look at 74%.

    >> yeah.

    >> in a blueish state for a governor who's taken on some tough fights, that's a remarkable number.

    >> right. i mean, governor christie is a red governor. you say blueish state . i say in a blue state . and you don't get those numbers by being a hardened ideologue. chris christie has shown that he is more than willing to go after his own party, go after president obama . but it's all, from his perspective, doing what's right for the people of his state . and his state 's responding to him positively.

    >> you know, dan senor , some people don't like his style. he's been accused of being a bully. some republicans don't like how complimently he is from time to time of democrats especially of president obama . but people in his state like what he's doing.

    >> if you look at what he's accomplished, he's a reformist governor by conservative standards. he's done the things conservatives like which is take on the teachers unions in a substantive way but also a very public way, as you said. i think with that ratrack record and getting re-elected by large numbers , i don't think he'll get re-elected in the 60s o 70s, but winning new jersey state , a blueish state , as you said, i think will make him instantly an attractive possibility for republicans headed into 2016 .

    >> how could he say no if he were called upon, if he remains this popular, remains a national figure the way he is now, if he's called upon by his party, wouldn't he have to run?

    >> i actually -- i'm always skeptical of this idea that someone is called upon. they actually have to decide to go after it. and then when they go after it with gusto and energy, then grass-roots movements follow that. national grass-roots movement don't create a candidacy that a candidate can't resist. so he's going to have to decide if he wants to go for it. it's a low-risk proposition. one of his concerns about running this past time in 2012 is he had run and lost, it would have made it harder for him to get re-elected in governor in 2013 . that's no longer a risk.

    >> it's creating a lot of pent-up demand. he will go for it with gusto.

    >> we've also got to see how that personality works. he can't run around telling sh to get a life all the time and necessarily have it translate into a national candidacy.

    >> i'm not so sure. he would pay to see him stand up in front of that crowd in arizona that mccain was addressing. i would pay to see him do that.

    >> we'll see.

    >>> coming up next on " morning joe ," president obama reaches out directly to key republicans on immigration, but still a little radio silence between the two sides when it comes to those deep budget cuts, now just over a week away. we'll discuss that with msnbc political analyst richard wolffe . also former chief economist for the imf, simon johnson . you're watching " morning joe ." we'll be right

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,