Gov. Kasich has spent much time and many millions pitching his sweet song of budget balancing, job creation and anti-Washington rhetoric to virgin voters in New Hampshire and beyond.
But old and new polls alike show Ohio’s term-limited, 63-year-old governor, best known for his crusty behavior and dismissive attitude, doesn’t appear to have the ear of early primary state voters. Those voters, polls show, are lining up behind other non-traditional, non-establishment candidates like Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, the dynamic duo who continue to defy political gravity as they frustrate GOP establishment insiders with their league-leading poll numbers.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday shows that while Trump, Carson and Marco Rubio are going up, Mr. Kasich is going down, dropping 50 percent just from last month. Trump, the New York billionaire developer, is backed by 25 percent of Republican primary voters. His closest competitor, Dr. Carson, follows at 22 percent.
This news follows on the heels of news of how Camp Kasich’s fundraising has also lagged that of most other candidates. Now in eighth place and tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Kasich trails Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina in the poll.
Polling by CNN shows Ohio’s governor has lost ground by almost half from two months ago when his numbers were already low at five percent. When Republicans in this poll were asked who their second choice would be, Mr. Kasich fared poorly at three percent.
With little to say to explain why his boss is faring so poorly outside his home state, one long-time Kasich spokesman tried but couldn’t turn lemons into lemonade. Kasich mouthpiece, Rob Nichols, has said previously that the governor’s cell phone “works just as well in Cincinnati, Iowa, as it works in Cincinnati, Ohio.”
How hard of a job can being governor be if being present in your state isn’t really necessary? According to reports, Gov. Kasich has only been present at three public events in Ohio since joining the race in early July. Ohio Democrats have called Kasich on the carpet for essentially being AWOL on his state job.
Other former GOP governors, including Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, read the handwriting on the all and dropped out. Walker actually framed the “suspension” of his presidential campaign as leadership, calling on other low-pollers to follow suit.
Gov. Kasich’s strategy, it seems, is not to rise to the top through merit but through others ahead of him leaving the competition. But that path to victory, sad as it is from a strategic standpoint, is flummoxed by a GOP electorate who just aren’t buying into the governor’s resume as a Washington insider who wants to dismember DC and ship large parts of it back to states.
When citizen John Kasich, who spent 18 years in Congress and nearly half that time working for Fox News and Lehman Brothers as a Wall Street banker, was elected governor, he did exactly the opposite in Columbus compared to what he wants to do in Washington.
Gov. Kasich took money from Ohio’s 88 counties, forcing many of them to either cut services or seek new tax hikes. He withheld billions from local governments and schools to amass a treasury to give back to Ohio’s wealthiest in income tax cuts as he ‘balanced” the state budget by tax shifting to those least able to afford paying more in sales and other use taxes.
Kasich On Defense, Not Clinton
Gov. Kasich has promised to put Hillary Clinton on “defense” if a miracle happens and he becomes the GOP nominee for president next year. Ohio’s tempermental chief executive may ignore her, but odds makers and other political watchers in the know haven’t.
Among those coming out to support her Tuesday were 50 African American mayors from across the country.
From bookmakers, the likelihood that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the next president of the United States is about 47 percent. Nate Silver, the wunderkind of political polling, predicts about 86 percent odds that Mrs. Clinton is the choice of Democrats next year.