Ohio Gov. John Kasich barely made it on to the debate stage in Cleveland last Thursday. Despite some scattered praise from the press, his national polling actually dipped afterward from very low to very, very low. More bad news for Kasich today: The anti-tax group Club for Growth is asking its followers to write campaign checks to five Republican presidential candidates; and this time Kasich didn’t make the cut.
Patrick O’Connor, writing in the Wall Street Journal, said, “This marks the first time the influential conservative group has called on its members to write checks to presidential candidates and coincides with a separate effort to curb the progress of celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump by drawing attention to its concerns with his past statements. The five candidates for which the Club will officially bundle campaign contributions are Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Jeb! Bush. O’Connor says the group plans to roll out position papers that point to Donald Trump’s flaws as a fiscal conservative and advocate for free markets.
The snub of Gov. Kasich by The Club for Growth follows on the snub given Ohio’s go-go CEO chief executive by “Defending The American Dream Summit,” to be held in Columbus, sponsored by the Koch Brother-funded group Americans For Prosperity (AFP). The Summit will feature several well-known Republican office holders, many of whom are running for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination. Kasich hasn’t been invited, but Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Georgia Senator David Perdue and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have.
The next GOP debate will be on September 16 at the Reagan Library in California. Gov. Kasich, who entered the race later than nearly all the other candidates, has been short on specific policy plans, but very long on pastoring those who will listen to him tell his story of single-handily turning around Ohio from the disastrous impacts of the Great Recession. Even though John Kasich inherited a state already on the comeback, as tens of thousands of jobs were created from the momentum of the governor he defeated in 2010 and $1 billion was returned to the state’s treasury under former Gov. Ted Strickland, but no one would know that since the former Lehman Brothers banker has taken bows and credit for both advances.
Mr. Kasich could easily have not been on the stage in Cleveland last week, since his national polling numbers were little better than those for former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who showed up at an earlier panel discussion with six others who likewise didn’t make the cut to be in prime time coverage by Fox News. In the wake of last week’s TV debate, Gov. Kasich’s very low national polling numbers, about three percent at best, actually went down a point, leaving him at two percent. There is no guarantee that Gov. Kasich will be in the prime time debate in California in just 36 days.
Democrats have their issues with Ohio’s Republican governor, and they expressed them last Thursday before the prime time TV debate got started.