(NBCNEWS) — Republican governors, once considered among the party’s best hopes for taking back the White House, have suffered significant setbacks in recent months. And their legal and political woes – both large and small – have made the still-developing 2016 presidential race look even more unpredictable.

What’s more, it all comes as congressional Republicans battle low-approval numbers and with no clear heir apparent to be the GOP’s next standard bearer.

Here’s why some of the party’s shiniest stars no longer look so bright:

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