New Jersey residents and more importantly, New Jersey voters still give Governor Chris Christie sky-high approval and favorability ratings and more than 6-in-10 are ready to re-elect him to a second term.

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Today's Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll shows Christie leads his likely gubernatorial candidate by a 2-to-1 margin in a head-to-head match-up.

Christie earns a 70% approve to 17% disapprove job rating among all Garden State residents. Among registered voters, his rating stands at 70% approve to 16% disapprove. 70% is an all-time high for Christie in a Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press survey. In December, his job approval rating was 67% among all residents and 69% among voters. He continues to draw majority job approval ratings from the state's Democrats (58%) and public employees (60%) in the aftermath of super-storm Sandy.

63% OF registered voters say that Gov. Christie deserves a second term, similar to his December support (61%) and higher than in September (50%). Three-in-ten (29%) say it is time to put someone else in office and 8% are not sure whether the governor merits re-election. In a head-to-head contest with the presumptive Democratic nominee, State Senator Barbara Buono, Christie garners 62% of intended support from registered voters while Buono claims 20%.

"There is a long history that shows horse race polling has little predictive value this far out from an election," says said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "This is especially true when there is a popular incumbent and a largely unknown challenger. The important number here is that 6-in-10 voters support Gov. Christie's re-election. This suggests that the race should close in on a 20 point margin as the campaign progresses and Buono becomes better known. The question remains whether the challenger can peel off Christie supporters to shrink that gap even more."

Buono officially kicked off her campaign earlier this month, but more than 3-in-4 Garden State voters (78%) do not know enough about her to form an opinion. Among those who do, Buono earns a 13% favorable to 9% unfavorable rating. This isn't much different from the 11% favorable to 7% unfavorable rating she received back in September.

It's worth noting that the highest ranking woman in New Jersey politics is only slightly better known. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno receives a 25% favorable to 7% unfavorable rating from registered voters after three years in office, while 68% do not know enough about her to form an opinion. In stark contrast, Christie earns a whopping 71% favorable to 18% unfavorable rating from registered voters.

The survey was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from February 6 to 10, 2013. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.5 percent.