(CNN) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's response to the superstorm that blasted his state appears to have won the outspoken Republican higher approval ratings, according to a poll released Monday.
The survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University showed Christie with an already-high approval rating of 56% among registered voters before the storm hit New Jersey in early November. The same respondents were polled after the storm, and Christie's approval rating jumped to 77%.
Christie saw a similar increase in the number of people who say he's doing an "excellent" or "good" job as governor. Before the storm, 55% held that view. After Sandy, 70% said he was doing an "excellent" or "good" job.
The spike in approval for Christie's job performance came largely from Democrats, 26% of whom approved of him before the storm. That rate jumped to 67% afterwards. Christie was a top surrogate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign, and came under fire from some Republicans following Romney's loss for his appearances with President Barack Obama during the storm's aftermath.
"Much like Governor Christie's embrace of the support the state received from President Obama in the days after the storm, Democratic respondents approve of Christie for his leadership, at least for now" said Krista Jenkins, director of Fairleigh Dickinson's PublicMind polling center.
Christie is up for re-election in November 2013, though hasn't said yet whether he'll run for a second term.
The poll gauging Christie's approval rating was first conducted October 26-29, and again from November 13-18, by telephone from 241 registered voters in New Jersey. The sampling error was plus or minus 6.3 percentage points.