No one is winning the Republican presidential primary right now. In fact, there isn’t even a top tier in the endorsement primary, and the lack of a leader has led many Republicans to consider running. The latest is Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. While we’ll get into more details about Snyder’s chances if he eventually declares, Snyder’s candidacy does not look on first glance particularly attractive for Republican primary voters.
He has two things working against him: ideology and electability.
As you see in this chart of incumbent governors’ re-election margins in 2014, Snyder performed about how a Republican governor of Michigan would be expected to given the national political environment in 2014. He’s about as electable as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, but Walker is far more conservative. What’s the rationale for most Republican primary voters for choosing Snyder over Walker?