Christie’s approval ratings have been climbing upward since a minor blip in January when he dropped down to 53 percent. Meanwhile, his disapproval rating has been falling and stands now at 36 percent.

Christie is fresh back from a jaunt to Israel and Jordan, a move many in the Garden State read as an attempt to shore up his foreign-policy credentials ahead of a future run for higher office.

The first-term governor has also largely escaped the stain of the attack his foes love to lob at him: that he bullies his opponents into submission. Fifty-four percent said they see Christie more as a leader than a bully — the highest of any of the four Quinnipiac polls since 2010 that have posed the question.

The poll of 1,607 New Jersey voters was conducted April 3-9 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.