Poll finds small increase in Chris Christie approval

Gov. Chris Christie's (R-N.J.) approval numbers continue to grow, a Farleigh Dickson University PublicMind poll found Tuesday.

The poll shows 51 percent approve of the governor, while 37 percent disapprove. It is a slight increase from a November poll, which showed a 49 percent approval rating for Christie, compared to a 39 percent disapproval rating.

Despite his general popularity, Christie's approval is divided down partisan lines. The poll found 67 percent of Republicans feel New Jersey is going in the "right direction" under Christie's leadership, while 63 percent of Democrats think it on the "wrong track." Moreover, the poll found 41 percent of Republicans think Christie is doing a good job as governor while about the same percentage of Republicans think he is doing an "only fair" job.

Peter Woolley, the director of the poll, attributed Christie's approval gains to the fact that voters' taxes did not increase this year.

“Voters are focused on finances,” Woolley said. "Voters didn’t get a tax hike at the state level as they did in past crises. The key is whether, or how much, they might get in local property tax hikes later this year or next.”

The poll came out a day before Christie went on a media tour to defend a trip he and his family took to Florida during a blizzard in New Jersey.

Christie is one of a handful of governors who has made the 2012 presidential nomination shortlist. Other Republican governors include Haley Barbour (Miss.), former Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska.), former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.).