But an Associated Press exit poll shows voters were not thrilled with either the Republican or Gov. Jon Corzine.
About half the voters said they had unfavorable opinions of both men, as well as Independent Chris Daggett.
Voters said their top concerns were the economy and jobs. The state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes were a close second.
Those who said the economy was important favored Corzine, while voters who said taxes mattered most supported Christie.
Independent voters narrowly favored President Barack Obama last year, but they strongly favored Christie on Tuesday. Obama campaigned heavily for Corzine.
The majority of voters said their feelings about Obama were not a factor in their vote for governor.
The exit poll of 2,138 New Jersey voters was conducted for AP by Edison Research in a random sample of 40 precincts statewide.