Republican governors with White House ambitions are enacting conservative policies in their states as they seek to appeal to GOP primary voters in 2016.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are moving aggressively to deepen their state’s conservative imprint on everything from social issues to education.
The trio of governors already had conservative records to run on, particularly on fiscal issues.
But they are finding that’s not enough to earn the trust of interest groups closely watching the primaries. They also are looking to distinguish themselves in a crowded Republican field.
“They’re all looking for a niche, that edge to help them stand out in a field that nobody seems able to break away from,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “Some of these issues could be winners, depending on how they’re framed, but they’re also walking a fine line in appealing to the GOP base without alienating the general public, should they win the nomination.”