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Chris Christie Now Most Popular New Jersey Governor Ever

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced he will seek re-election in 2013, and he picked a nice time to do it: A new poll shows his approval rating at 72 percent, the highest ever for a sitting governor in the Garden State.

Christie’s stock soared more than 15 points in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, even in a Democratic-leaning state that went decisively for President Obama on Election Day. Christie has been a constant presence in local media since the devastating storm, with lengthy press conferences trumpeting relief efforts along the battered Jersey coast.

Christie’s rising profile led national Republicans to urge him to run for president this year, and the governor’s announcement could dampen hopes for a 2016 bid. As he put it, with characteristic bluntness: “It would be wrong for me to leave now. I don’t want to leave now. We have a job to do.”