Former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Joe Piscopo said he won’t be a Republican candidate, but he could run as an independent in New Jersey’s race for governor.
Political analysts aren’t giving him much chance to win.
Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley said it’s nearly impossible for independent candidates to do well in New Jersey elections because they don’t have the party organization or money to attract support.
Even though Piscopo, who has a radio show, has a lot of name recognition, Woolley doesn’t believe he’d do better than Chris Daggett who got a lot of attention as an independent candidate in 2009.
“Chris Daggett ended up with 6 percent and that was with name recognition, being included in debates. He had a significant amount of money,” Woolley said. “He was a very credible candidate. He was an excellent speaker, a good debater, and he still only got 6 percent.”
Seton Hall political scientist Matthew Hale also said it’s unlikely Piscopo would do well as an independent candidate.
“It might be a little bit different if Mr. Piscopo could self-fund. That always could make an even playing field, but I don’t think it looks like he can do that,” Hale said.
Still, Hale said Piscopo could have some impact on the outcome if he decides to enter the governor’s race.
“Mr. Piscopo’s support of Donald Trump, there might be some die-hard Trump supporters who otherwise might vote Republican that might come to him,” he said. “But there’s really not a lot of those in New Jersey.”
Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, isn’t giving Piscopo much encouragement.
“If he’s going to run as an independent, he has as close to zero chance of being governor as you can possibly have based on the history in this state,” Christie said Tuesday. “It seems to me that this is just an attempt by Mr. Piscopo to increase the ratings on his radio show.”