Republican governors have been overshadowed by Trump in the party’s race, as they have been hindered by the strong anti-establishment sentiment among voters.

There was a time when voters preferred having a governor assume control in the White House.

However, the few current or former governors attempting to gain momentum in the GOP presidential race are discovering that this type of leadership experience is no longer highly appealing.

“I cannot reword”

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida figured he could crack that ceiling with his Florida miracle — a conservative revolution and an economic boom. He hasn’t. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, like Mr. DeSantis, is trying to mount a run while also running his state.

“I cannot reword”

There also are the ex-governors: Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Mike Pence of Indiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. All of them are hoping their time as chief executives will convince voters they are ready for a promotion.

None of them come close to former President Donald Trump in polling.

Governors had long enjoyed an edge over members of Congress when it comes to presidential politics. For one thing, they have the confidence that comes with having been a chief executive. When a governor says she did something back home, it means she led. When a senator says he did something in Congress, it usually means he was one of hundreds in Congress who voted for a bill.

And while governors are usually judged on a few big issues, members of Congress have massive voting records littered with political minefields. Think of then-Sen. John Kerry’s flip-flopping on funding for the war in Iraq in the 2004 presidential campaign.

“I cannot reword”

Members of Congress are much more common compared to those pick-a-side occasions.

The governor’s advantage is so strong that the successful presidential candidates since 1964 all made their bones as governors or vice presidents — another executive-style job — except former President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump.

In 2016, Mr. Trump emerged as the frontrunner among nine governors, a few senators, and a few candidates from the private sector due to his unconventional political style. He gained significant support from the Republican Party voters.

“According to Mr. Allen, the rise of Mr. Trump was fueled by a sense of betrayal and neglect among numerous Republican voters.”

Mr. Sununu emphasized that it would be a mistake to overlook the fact that Mr. Trump was also a contender for the executive position in that particular competition.

“He did not hold the position of a governor, but he was a CEO,” he explained. “Therefore, he possessed many similar qualities, albeit from a private sector perspective.”

Mr. Trump’s strategy has been widely embraced, leading to its imitation by businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who currently holds the majority of support among the governors in surveys.

Mr. Ramaswamy has enthralled voters with an everyman’s approach to policy, rolling out promises that resonate more at the backyard barbecue than in the halls of Congress.

He has called for eliminating entire federal agencies, including the FBI, raising the voting age to 25, and pegging the value of the U.S. dollar to the price of gold.

Mike McKenna, a GOP strategist who served as a senior legislative aide in the Trump White House, said those are the kinds of promises a governor could never make.

“I cannot reword”

Mr. Allen, who served as the governor of Virginia from 1994 to 1998, concurred.

“He stated that governors typically handle practicality, actuality, and responsible administration while maintaining a balanced budget.”

According to H.W. Brands, a historian specializing in presidents, the recent challenges faced by governors can be attributed to “a shortage of attractive candidates.”

In 2012, he stated that Mr. Obama had greater voter appeal compared to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, similar to how Mr. Trump demonstrated greater appeal than former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 GOP nomination race.

“I cannot reword”

Mr. DeSantis is hoping that comeback starts now. As Mr. Trump’s closest, albeit distant rival, he argues that his successes in Florida have more staying power than what the ex-president did at the national level.

“I cannot reword”

Mr. Bugrum, who was seen as having little chance of success, believes that the federal government can gain valuable insights from the methods his administration employed to reduce regulations that negatively impacted taxpayers.

He stated that as a governor, one gets to witness firsthand the excessive interference of the federal government through burdensome regulations. These regulations not only increase the expenses of various activities but also limit our capabilities in the energy sector within the nation.

Mr. Burgum is mired in the single digits in the polling out of the early states, putting him alongside Mrs. Haley, Mr. Pence, Mr. Christie and Mr. Hutchinson.  

Mrs. Haley, who previously held the position of U.S. ambassador to the U.N., aims to regain lost ground by highlighting the success of her policies as governor. These policies, such as implementing voter ID laws, were highly effective and resulted in the Palmetto State being referred to as “The Beast of the South East.”

Mr. Pence has been emphasizing that he is not just Mr. Trump’s former sidekick, but also highlighting his previous role as Indiana’s leader. During his time as governor, he advocated for conservative initiatives such as the growth of charter schools and restrictions on abortion.

Mr. Christie discusses the challenges he faced in overcoming obstacles, such as public sector unions, which had historically hindered Republicans in his predominantly Democratic state. Mr. Hutchinson, on the other hand, has emphasized his efforts in reducing taxes and increasing the availability of computer science courses in Arkansas.

They believe that voters will highly value executive experience and consider it the most effective preparation for becoming the future commander-in-chief.

“I cannot reword”

He stated that the role of the presidency is essentially identical, only on a significantly larger magnitude.

This report was contributed to by Stephen Dinan.