I’ve read a number of articles like this one from Fox News over the past few weeks that claim John Kasich’s win over Ted Strickland can be used as some kind of blueprint for beating Democrats, specifically President Obama in 2012.
In delivering a campaign and message that were pitch-perfect, the son of a mailman with working class roots provided a blueprint on going toe-to-toe with Obama and coming out on top.
Excuse my French, but this is a complete load of horse crap.
Kasich won because he was patient and, more often than not, just plain lazy.
Kasich’s entire campaign strategy can be summed up in three bullet points:
1. Wait patiently for a year in which the economy is bad and polling looks extremely good for Republican candidates.
2. Blame the incumbant for everything.
3. Shut up and don’t embarrass yourself.
That’s pretty much it.
John Kasich didn’t run a particulary exciting or engaging campaign.
He didn’t present any new policy initiatives that caught the eye of independents.
He actually lost some traditionally Republican issue voters (e.g. Gun owners).
And his son-of-a-mailman story was so far eclipsed by Governor Strickland’s ACTUAL working class roots that it’s amazingly difficult to believe this was the primary motivating factor in anyone’s Kasich vote.
As Modern has pointed out MANY times “a majority of Ohioans didn’t vote for John Kasich”. He barely eked out a 2 point win with only around 48% of the vote in a year when Republicans were sweeping into office with double digit victories.
Yes, John Kasich won his race. But not for the reasons Fox News is presenting. And not with any sort of repeatable strategy that can be used as a model for next year.
Pick a good year and don’t talk too much. That was John Kasich’s strategy from the begining. And it’s a good strategy too, if you’re willing to wait around for the right year.
Unfortunately for future Republican candidates, 2010 was that year. And it isn’t coming back.