Editor’s Note: Why are voters spurning governors?
In a presidential race that should have belonged to the nation’s governors, only one is left, and he has to score some real victories soon to stay alive.
Voters clearly are upset with Washington and are seeking outsiders to lead them. But two of the self-identified outsiders — Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats — are sitting U.S. senators. They’re part of a Congress with an approval rating that struggles to push above single digits. And Hillary Clinton is the ultimate Washington insider.
That leaves Donald Trump and John Kasich among the remaining serious contenders with true outsider credentials.
The race lost former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush over the weekend. Bush brought competency, maturity and a solid record of results to the campaign, and yet he never got off the ground. A week earlier, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who brought those same assets plus the bombast voters seem to love this season, bowed out.
Meanwhile, Cruz and another young GOP senator, Florida’s Marco Rubio, are battling to challenge Trump’s lead.
It doesn’t wash. After eight years of a president who rose to the White House after serving just a partial term in the Senate, Republicans are offering voters two candidates with resumes similar to Barack Obama’s.
Meanwhile, Kasich, who did in Ohio what Americans say they want done at the national level — balanced the budget, restrained spending, made government more responsive to citizens — is just barely hanging on.
Why is this election year already starting to feel like an opportunity lost?