Here's a very simple question for you; how's life in the Garden State treating you?

That's the main query in the latest Monmouth University poll released this morning. The survey finds New Jersey residents are feeling very good.

"20% of New Jerseyans say that their state is an excellent place to live and another 50% say it's a good place to live," says poll director Patrick Murray. "That 70% overall is the first time we've hit the seven-in-ten mark since way back in May of 2003 when it was 72%."

Murray says while the rating isn't the highest ever, it sure beats the lowest which was recorded not too long ago.

He explains, "The all-time low was 57% and that was less than a year ago in August of 2011. So, we've gone from a 57% to a 70% positive rating for the state in less than a year. That's a big jump."

"I'm certain Governor (Chris) Christie will take some credit for this and certainly what's happening in state government has a lot to do with it," says Murray. "I think the economy getting better is the main thing. New Jersey was really hard hit. A year ago it looked like maybe we we're going to come out of these economic doldrums, but now it does."

The survey also includes ratings of various local aspects of New Jersey life. These ratings have remained fairly steady, including positive ratings of one's town as a place to live (76%), the local environment (75%), local schools (63%) and neighborhood safety (64%).

The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on April 11 to 15, 2012 with a statewide random sample of 804 adult residents, including 644 contacted on a landline telephone and 160 on a cell phone. The error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.