The only Democrat, whose hat is in the ring to challenge Republican Governor Christie, has a tough road ahead. So says a New Jersey political scientist, who thinks Barbara Buono must take a different path in her run against the wildly popular Governor.

Senator Barbara Buono (D) at the breakfast before the NJ Chamber of Commerce Train To Washington (Gellman Images)

Montclair State University political expert Brigid Harrison says Buono must raise some serious money because Governor Christie has big supporters with deep pockets outside of New Jersey.

She also says Buono will have to take the negative campaign route against Christie because just talking about her policy differences won't go far enough.

"I think, you know, there is, essentially, very little convincing supporters. But she needs to convince Democrats in the State and undecided independents that they have a reason to come out to the polls."

Harrison points out that this is really about personality. She says that Senator Buono really needs to draw attention, and motivate those people who take exception to how the Governor has run the State.

Harrison says Democratic party bosses will also have to do more than pay lip service to the notion of supporting her. She says that, unlike other candidates who had been talked about, including State Senator Steve Sweeney, Senator Buono is unique in that she really has been a consistent voice of opposition to many of Governor Christie's policies. And Harrison thinks that the minimum wage issue is a really important one because it is an issue that is of great concern to members of organized labor in the state.

"These are individuals who typically have supported Democrats. And so by talking about issues related to jobs, talking about the minimum wage bill, I think that there is kind of an underhanded attempt to really drive up support from labor unions, perhaps attract some of their members, and also some of their contributions."