Sitting governors in both parties seeking to influence the presidential race in their home states are failing miserably so far in 2016.
Republican governors are batting 1-9 with their endorsements. Only Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) got it right by supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who benefitted from home field advantage.
In the Democratic contests to date, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has won in four of the five states where the governor endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
All told, the governors have ended up on the wrong side of voters in 12 of 14 elections. More often than not, the candidates they’ve backed were defeated in a rout.
Political analysts say the phenomenon is further evidence of the fierce anti-establishment mood of the electorate, which has buoyed outsider or insurgent candidates like Cruz, Sanders and Donald Trump.
“Voters this year don’t want to be told what to do. They want to make their choice free of anything,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “I don’t know why any of these governors would risk their coattails in a cycle this unpredictable.”