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.