New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may be the most popular politician in the land.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 41 percent of Americans view Christie positively, compared to just 12 percent who view him negatively. And he gets equally strong marks from across the political spectrum, with 43 percent of Democrats viewing him favorably.

That 29-point split is the best among any politician studied, including longtime leader and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who is viewed positively by 49 percent and negatively by 31 percent.

(Her numbers, notably, have taken a hit in recent months; in December, she had a 58/28 split.)

As recently as August 2012, Christie was viewed favorably by 18 percent of Americans and unfavorably by the same number. Of course, that was before the Republican National Convention -- where Christie delivered the GOP's keynote address -- and Hurricane Sandy, which brought Christie even more into the national spotlight.

Christie last week toured the newly rebuilt Jersey Shore with President Obama -- a move that likely contributed to his latest bump in the polls, but could harm his chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination if he runs in 2016.

Christie drew some unhelpful headlines on Tuesday though, choosing to set the special election for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) seat for October rather than the regularly scheduled November election this year or in 2014. The move is likely to cost the state millions of dollars.

Update 4:02 p.m.: Gallup is out with its own Christie numbers -- 52 percent favorable, 20 percent unfavorable. And his numbers again are very similar regardless of party.