Christie is viewed favorably by 41 percent of Democratic voters in a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, compared to just 19 percent who say they view the governor in an unfavorable light. A majority of Republicans and a plurality of independents also say they have a favorable impression of Christie. Overall, Christie’s fav/unfav split is 45 percent/18 percent, with 34 percent holding no opinion. …

Of course, fixing the GOP image in the eyes of non-Republicans is just one part of the problem, which in turn is a potential problem for Christie. Polling shows Republicans have concerns about their party, too, contributing to its struggling overall brand. And Christie has irked conservatives with his embrace of President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and was never a darling on the right to begin with.

But if Christie’s numbers hold up over time, it will be hard to argue there is a better ambassador for the GOP to expand its reach. And the power of the electability argument that Christie would be able to make in the 2016 primary shouldn’t be underestimated. Washington Post-ABC News polling consistently showed Republicans felt in the 2012 primary that Mitt Romney had the best shot in the general election.