Voters just didn’t care—in part, be­cause their dis­gust with the polit­ic­al sys­tem has made them mis­trust­ful of any­thing an elec­ted of­fi­cial. Wes An­der­son, a top strategist and poll­ster for the Jin­dal cam­paign, said fo­cus groups and sur­veys con­duc­ted by the cam­paign showed that voters liked the in­di­vidu­al parts of Jin­dal’s re­cord. They just re­flex­ively didn’t be­lieve him when he talked about it.

“In this very strange and con­vo­luted elec­tion cycle, the Re­pub­lic­an primary voters have said, ‘If you’re in elec­ted of­fice, then I dis­count what you’re say­ing,’” said An­der­son.

He ad­ded: “If a politi­cian is telling them they’ve done good things, they’re not listening.”

The gov­ernors have also lacked the me­dia plat­forms avail­able to sen­at­ors not just in of­fice, but while they were run­ning for of­fice in the first place. Ru­bio and Cruz, for in­stance, ran as con­ser­vat­ive in­sur­gents in 2010 and 2012, re­spect­ively, against es­tab­lish­ment-backed Re­pub­lic­ans.