New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's approvals are still through the roof in every independent poll, but one political experts says if you're handicapping Christie's chances for re-election, his approval rating is not the true measure.

Screen shot of Christie re-election TV commercial (YouTube)

Even though the majority of Democrats approve of the job the Republican governor is doing, that doesn't mean they want him for another term.

In the latest Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll, Christie earns a 63 percent approve to 26 percent disapprove job rating among all Garden State residents.

Among registered voters, his rating stands at 65 percent approve to 26 percent disapprove. Monmouth University poll director Patrick Murray says the real number to watch is how many people think Christie deserves to be re-elected.

Almost 6-in-10 (59 percent) registered voters say Christie deserves a second term, down just slightly from his February support level (63 percent). Just one-third (34 percent) say it is time to put someone else in office and 7 percent aren't sure whether the governor merits re-election. Murray says a politician is golden if his or her re-elect numbers are over 50-percent.

"If you're over 50-percent on the re-elect question, then George Washington could be running against you and you're pretty well set," says Murray. "Most people consider it a magic number because that's the number where voters say, 'We're not even going to look at the alternative.'"

Even Christie is on record saying his post-Sandy poll numbers will come back down to Earth. Murray says that might not happen.

"Even before Sandy his re-elect number was in the low 50s so we wouldn't expect it to come down all that much," explains Murray. "We might even get another bump back up in the summer when people start going down the shore and seeing how much it's been re-built."