Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley put some serious political capital on the line last week when he endorsed John Kasich for president and became just the fourth Republican governor to get behind a 2016 campaign. But don't expect many more chief executives to follow suit.
Most governors, including Democrats, are sitting out the presidential endorsement game so far—and will likely stay out for quite some time.
That's not for lack of effort from the 2016 candidates. In 2014, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush campaigned with or raised money for nearly half a dozen current governors, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie crisscrossed the country raising money and campaigning for dozens of candidates as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have returned Christie's favor and endorsed him. But apart from them, Bentley, and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson—a home-state supporter of Mike Huckabee— no other GOP governors have tipped their hands so far, despite intense campaigns for their support.
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, one of the first governors to endorse Mitt Romney in 2011, said in June that he was thinking of endorsing a fellow governor again this time around. "There have been a number of candidates who have reached out to him and made inquiries and requests," said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian. But he remains uncommitted.