The Curse of the Endorsing Governor

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 21 2012 2:49 PM

The Curse of the Endorsing Governor

Buried in Public Policy Polling's Michigan survey is this question about Gov. Rick Snyder.

Screen shot 2012-02-21 at 1.25.01 PM

Less likely, by better than 2-1! If Romney loses Michigan, he will have kept up one of the primary's weirder, more solid trends: Scoring a gubernatorial endorsement rings the bells of doom. Witness the body count so far.

South Carolina: Romney gets the backing of Gov. Nikki Haley. A month later, he comes a poor second to Newt Gingrich in the primary, the result called a second after the polls close.

Minnesota: On September 12, 2011, Romney is endorsed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Minnesota's caucuses, set for early February, looks like a cakewalk: Romney won them in the 2008 race. But the caucuses arrive, and Romney comes in third place behind Ron Paul.

Colorado: Bill Owens, governor of this state from 1999 to 2007, endorsed Romney in 2008. He endorsed him again this time. The result in 2008: Victory. The result this year: A close loss to Rick Santorum.

Missouri: The last Republican governor of this state was Matt Blunt, son of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. Their powers combined for a mid-2011 endorsement of Romney. He got fewer than half as many votes as Santorum in this month's poorly-attended no-delegate primary.

If Romney wins Michigan, it will be the first time he held a state where the current or most recent Republican governor had endorsed them. This is flukey, yes, but there's got to be some residual anti-establishment sentiment behind it.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 6:24 PM The GOP Can’t Quit “Willie Horton” Even though they promise to do so, again and again.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.