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Piscopo Considering Running For NJ Governor As An Independent

Governor's office entrance
Phil Gregory

Former Saturday Night Live comedian Joe Piscopo says 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 says 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 has a lot of name recognition, Wooley 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. 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 believes 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 believes 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, but there's really not a lot of those in New Jersey."

Governor Christie says 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. It seems to me that this is just an attempt by Mr. Piscopo to increase the ratings on his radio show.”