Although Republicans hold the majority of state governorships, Donald Trump has only earned endorsements from 13 of the 31 governors. Some of them initially supported other candidates like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio and others ran against Trump before endorsing him. The fact that he has failed to earn endorsements from most of the governors highlights Trump’s struggle to unite the party since he became the presumptive nominee last month.
Here’s a look at which governors have supported Trump and why some haven’t yet.
1. Chris Christie Endorsed First
Just after ending his own campaign for the presidency, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared his full support of Trump in February. Christie has continued to defend Trump, even after Trump’s controversial comments about Judge Golanzo Curiel. On Tuesday, Christie insisted that Trump is not racist.
Christie has also taken on a major role in Trump’s campaign. In May, Trump assigned Christie to lead his transition team. Trump said of Christie:
Governor Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled Transition Team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November. I am grateful to Governor Christie for his contributions to this movement.
I am honored by the confidence being placed in me by Mr. Trump and look forward to putting together a first rate team to assemble an administration to help best serve the President-elect and the nation.
2. Paul LePage & Rick Scott Endorsed Before Trump Became Presumptive Nominee
Trump got two other endorsements from governors before he became the presumptive nominee. Maine Governor Paul R. LePage endorsed Trump the same day Christie did. Florida Governor Rick Scott endorsed Trump in March.
In April, Scott called for the Republican party to unite and support Trump. He called for the end of the “Stop Trump” movement. Scott wrote:
Republicans now need to come together. Donald Trump is going to be our nominee, and he is going to be on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President. The Republican leaders in Washington did not choose him, but the Republican voters across America did choose him. The voters have spoken.
If the anti-Trump groups don’t stop now, their efforts will be nothing more than a contribution to the Clinton campaign.
3. Avalanche of Support Comes in May
In May, governors who had supported other candidates began to switch allegiances to Trump. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley even supported both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz before eventually supporting Trump after Cruz dropped out. Haley Told the post and Courier that she’d support Trump, but doesn’t want to be his running mate.
“To the members of the press who are asking, while I am flattered to be mentioned and proud of what that says about the great things going on in South Carolina, my plate is full and I am not interested in serving as vice president,” Haley said.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who dropped out of the race before the primaries even started, has said he would support Trump. However, he told WKOW that it’s “just sad” that voters only have Trump and Hillary Clinton to vote for in November.
4. John Kasich Still Hasn’t endorsed Trump
Ohio Governor John Kasich stayed in the race even longer than Cruz, but eventually dropped out after only winning his home state. He still has yet to endorse Trump. He told CNN in May that he was still “undecided.”
Kasich also called on Trump to apologize for his comments about Judge Curiel.
5. Trump Still Doesn’t Have Endorsements From 18 Governors
There are still 18 governors who have not endorsed Trump, including Kasich. Trump could have particular trouble getting an endorsement from New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who Trump criticized and said she’s “got to do a better job.” In an interview with The New Mexican, Trump reversed his statements, saying that he would “like to have” her endorsement.
Trump will definitely not get an endorsement from embattled Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who is dealing with the water crisis in Flint. In an interview with the Detroit News Snyder said he needs to stay focused on Michigan:
I’ve stayed out of the whole thing, and I’m going to continue to. I’ve got important things I want to work on in Michigan.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker told the Boston media that he might not even vote for president in November and won’t vote for Trump.
List of Governors Who Endorsed Trump
- Greg Abbott (Texas)
- Robert Bentley (Alabama)
- Terry Branstad (Iowa)
- Phil Bryant (Mississippi)
- Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota)
- Mary Fallin (Oklahoma)
- Nikki Haley (South Carolina)
- Pat McCrory (North Carolina)
- Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas)
- Mike Pence (Indiana)
- Pete Ricketts (Nebraska)
- Brian Sandoval (Nevada)
- Scott Walker (Wisconsin)