Nearly two-thirds of registered voters in New Jersey approve of a judge's decision to legalize gay marriage in the state.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled last month that New Jersey must allow gay and lesbian couples to marry starting on October 21. Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, appealed the decision and asked Jacobson to stay her ruling until the issue is settled.

According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll of 702 registered voters released Tuesday, 62 percent said that the state should drop its appeal and allow the ruling to take effect, while 29 percent endorsed the administration's move.

Significantly more Democrats (75%) than Republicans (46%) and independents (61%) agreed with the court's decision.

“The timing of the decision heightens the importance of the issue at a time when the state enters the final days of the Senate, gubernatorial and legislative elections,” Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, said in releasing the survey. “Candidates from top of the ticket to down ballot races will undoubtedly be asked to weigh in on gay marriage for which public opinion is decisive.”

(Related: Chris Christie insists his mind is made up on gay marriage.)