Analysts predict GOP ‘free for all’ in N.J. if Christie runs for president

Amid the latest speculation that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may enter the presidential race, political analysts say the governor’s departure would have a big impact on the state’s political power structure.

Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker expects a battle for control of the New Jersey Republican Party if Christie leaves the governor’s job.

“The governor is a very dominant personality. He certainly shaped the Republican Party in the state in his own image,” Baker said. “Removing him from the scene, I think, would lead to something of a free for all.”

While the state GOP could be hurt in the short term, Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison does not believe the Democratic Party would benefit much.

“While there might be a short-term vacuum, the state of the Democratic Party is such right now that it is quite disorganized, there is a lack of real leadership, and there’s a lack of money,” she said.

Analysts say Christie will run or not based on whether he believes he could win. The potential disarray his departure would create, they say, won’t be the major factor.

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