New Jersey legend Bruce Springsteen may have tied Governor Chris Christie in a hypothetical poll, but the Republican reformer achieved something that would make The Boss green with envy: his name is more closely associated with his beloved home state than Springsteen’s.

Fairleigh Dickinson periodically polls respondents on the question: “what comes to mind when you think about New Jersey?” This time around, the top answer was “New York” or “next to New York,” with “ocean,” “beach,” or the “shore” coming in at No. 2. But here’s the kicker:

Christie came in at No. 8, becoming the first person to break in to the top eight answers in the poll’s history.

“Who’s the Boss now?” asked Peter Woolley, director of the poll. “I was surprised because no person has ever had enough mentions to make the list — not Sinatra, not Springsteen, not Tony Soprano and not even Snooki.”

That is, Christie–who is a huge Springsteen fan himself–is more closely associated with New Jersey than Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, or Tony Soprano. New Jersey’s conservatives (oh yes, they exist) have generally answered the question of where they live with an expression of forlorn resignation. But since Christie’s election in 2009–and his subsequent public victories over the state’s absurdly powerful public unions–there has been something close to pride creeping into the voices of those same conservatives.

But more New Jersey than Springsteen, Soprano, or Sinatra? They’ve got Christie under their skin.