Continuing his extended vacation from being Governor of Ohio in order to run an expensive but flagging campaign to win over Republican presidential voters next year, Ohio’s 63-year-old state leader isn’t exactly wowing voters in New Hampshire or Iowa or any other state for that matter.
A new group of polls, some prominent and some not, show the Buckeye State’s term-limited chief executive, whose record of state achievements is nothing to brag about, show basic Kasich has many miles to go before voters warm up to the former Fox TV talk show host.
Kasich Works, Except Outside Ohio
Struggling with low single-digit rankings, Ohio’s chief executive, known for his crusty, dismissive personality, has spent millions with a promise to spend millions more, but buying goodwill instead of earning it just isn’t paying off in spades, as multiple new polling shows.
With stops planned Friday in New Hampshire cities including Hanover, Newport, Manchester, Milford and Concord to tout his recently announced balanced federal budget plan, which was greeted with yawns by some as basic “cookie-cutter” Republicanism or voodoo economics by others, Camp Kasich’s big, shiny bus has many miles to cover before the temperamental governor can even see the taillights of other campaigns—Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson for starters, who voters are lining up to support in droves.
Brand spanking new, Bowling Green State University released it’s first-ever political poll Tuesday, showing Donald Trump leading the GOP field in Ohio. The New York City billionaire developer leads 14 other Republicans with 26.9 percent of the vote among likely Ohio voters. After Trump comes retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 21.8 percent, then in third place, at 12.5 percent is Gov. Kasich, now twice elected. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former corporate executive Carly Fiorina tied at 5.6 percent, the poll shows, according to The Toledo Blade.
Us versus Us?
Trying to raise its visibility, the BGSU Poll also had good news for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who withstood nearly 11 hours of prosecutorial questioning by rabid Republicans who were out to hang her if they could Thursday.
Against the former Secretary of State for President Obama, Clinton leads Trump 45.9 percent to 34.8 percent. Mrs. Clinton is the Ohio Democratic favorite by 53.8 percent versus 22.7 for Mr. Sanders, and less than 3 percent for the other declared Democratic candidates combined, the poll said.
Grasping for anything reporters might report on, chief strategist for Camp Kasich, John Weaver, had to resort to an email blast that poked at Hillary Clinton for using a very common word everyone, including campaign sloganeers, use: Us. “Last week we did our first bus tour through New Hampshire on the “Kasich For Us Bus,” Weaver said. “Now Hillary’s SuperPAC is out with a new ad ending with the same slogan “For Us.”
The difference, of course, for those who have followed Mr. Kasich’s long and lucrative career as a professional performance showman and politician is that when Mrs. Clinton uses the word “us,” she’s referring to everyone. Whereas, when Gov. Kasich uses the word “Us,” he’s literally referring to him and his inner circle of friends and professional pals, not to anyone else.
A far more prominent polling outfit, Quinnipiac University, released its new Iowa poll showing Ben Carson now leading Donald Trump 28 – 20 percent among Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has 13 percent with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 10 percent. The poll showed Gov. Kasich stuck at a low three percent.
Meanwhile, John Kasich’s poll average for Iowa, according to Real Clear Politics, is just 2.7 percent.
Another poll conducted by Purple Strategies for Bloomberg Politics-Saint Anselm College, for the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary election in February, shows Trump at 24 percent followed by Carson at 17 percent. Gov. Kasich, for all his millions spent so far in a small state with barely enough population for two congressional districts, is tied for fifth place at just seven percent with Carly Fiorina, who like Trump and Carson has never held elected office and are selling that fact as part of their allure as outsiders who can change Washington.
In Hanover, location for Dartmouth College, Gov. Kasich participated Thursday in a town hall moderated by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Ohio’s gabby governor got soft glove treatment from Mr. Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who found fame and fortune as the voice of Republicans on a network widely viewed as a counterweight to Fox News, the Republican-oriented broadcast site.
One of the show’s regulars, Steve Rattner, pressed Kasich to answer directly whether he thought President Obama’s move to save the auto industry from collapse was good or not? Kasich finally ended his muddled response on the issue, saying, “OK, so he did well on that.”
Continuing to criticize the president because, the heartland governor whose state ranks 31st in the nation in job creation, said the president “still didn’t fix the economy.” Kasich was never asked whether the White House could have done more had Republicans been on his side instead of lining up against him at ever move. By comparison, carrying the biggest bonded debt of any state and having a hand-picked private group running his economic development plan, Mr. Kasich has a string of 35 straight month of not even breaking even with the national average on job creation, leading some to say Ohio’s pace is too slow.
Mr. Kasich was also in Newport to conduct one of his “Balanced Budget” town hall meetings, the New Hampshire Sentinel reported. On Friday, Kasich will have another “Balanced Budget” town hall, along with a discussion with business leaders, in Manchester.