Many political experts do not expect Gov. Chris Christie to serve the full four-year term voters gave him yesterday.

Governor Christie speaks after winning re-election in New Jersey (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
Governor Christie speaks after winning re-election in New Jersey (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Christie's impressive landslide victory over challenger State Sen. Barbara Buono is quickly becoming a sidebar in the bigger story.

Will Christie run for president in 2016? If he does, when will he step down as New Jersey's governor?

"I don't think that final decision to step down and stop being governor needs to be made before mid-Sept. of 2015," said Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin. "One of the reasons Chris Christie would want to step down in order to run for president is he would be able to raise money from the financial services industry, from Wall Street."

Currently, there are regulations prohibiting anyone in that industry from giving to any elected official running for office who oversees an investment fund. As Governor, Christie oversees the state investment fund. A Super Pac could be formed to raise the cash, but there are issues there as well.

"Money is different when it goes to a campaign or to a Super PAC," explained Dworkin. "It costs much more to buy an ad as a Super PAC than it does as a campaign."

The 'Christie for President' campaign must be given the lowest possible ad rate. Super PACs don't get that discount. Super PACs must also be independent from campaigns meaning Christie and his team cannot control how campaign contributions to a Super PAC are spent.

"While initially he may well get that Super PAC started, I think at a certain point he needs to stop and go," said Dworkin.

In Jan. of 2016 there will be the first Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. That means Christie will have to do the meet and greets at Iowa county fairs and in the hamlets of New Hampshire in order to get people to know him, because a packed GOP field is expected to go after the Party's nomination.

"Chris Christie, if he wants to be able to compete with these folks as to be able to put in the time in these areas," said Dworkin. "That's going to require a lot of time away from Trenton. More than a day here or a day there for a speech and that means he's going to have to, at some point step down."

Pure politics will also be in play. Christie will most likely have to show more of his partisan, conservative side to appeal to GOP voters in a national run.

Part of the reason he's so popular in New Jersey is because the Governor has shown he can reach across the aisle to forge bi-partisan solutions and score legislative victories with a Democrat-controlled legislature. The days of Democrats working with Christie could also be coming to an end.

"Democrats are looking at Christie and thinking they have to get through this situation of Chris Christie winning (yesterday), but some Democrat is going to have to run for Governor and people are going to be angling for that," said Dworkin. "Someone like (State Sen. Pres.) Steve Sweeney might be looking for opportunities to make things tough for Chris Christie."


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