Could Gov. Chris Christie's pain be Gov. Scott Walker's gain?
MADISON (WITI) -- Could a traffic jam in New Jersey put Scott Walker's presidential hopes in the fast lane? There is growing buzz that the "Bridgegate" scandal is helping Wisconsin's governor.
The national headlines are clear on at least one fallout of New Jersey's "Bridgegate" scandal: Chris Christie's pain is Scott Walker's gain.
"There's no doubt that Scott Walker benefits from Bridgegate," UW-Milwaukee Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee said.
Lee says the traffic jam scandal could end Christie's presidential hopes -- thus taking a big name Republican out of the running.
"Now we're down to a smaller field. That means it's easier for Scott Walker to stand out. It's easier for him to get national attention. I think Chris Christie is dead politically," Lee said.
Walker has offered support for Christie's leadership of the Republican Governor's Association.
"As long as what he said remains in tact, I'll continue to support Governor Christie, both in his role as governor and in his leadership position at the Republican Governor's Association," Walker said.
Still, some are calling for Christie's resignation from the RGA post, and political observers say if that happens, it'll sink Christie. Experts say Walker, a conservative governor who has won in a blue state twice, is best positioned to peel away Christie supporters and donors.
"I've heard of late a lot of buzz about that, but my answer to donors is the same that I say to you: that is that those of us who care not only about the Republican Party, but about this country, should focus on 2014, and not just because I'm up but because there's unique opportunities for Republicans not only to hold the House, but to regain the United States Senate, and I think it's a disservice for anyone in our party to talk about anything but 2014," Gov. Walker said.
Observers say Gov. Walker will have to win re-election in Wisconsin to even consider a presidential bid, so a lot can happen before any ballots are cast in the 2016 race.