Ohio Gov. John Kasich claims he’s “surging,” but a review of national and state polling shows he must be dreaming that he’ll become “the story” out of New Hampshire, where he’s drifted down to “not the story” fifth place
His surge story sounds impressive until polling shows just how big the gap is [16+ points] between him and GOP league leader Donald Trump.
Even though he’s polling zero in Nevada and 1.3 percent in South Carolina, two early primary states that follow first-in-the-nation New Hampshire on Feb. 9, he’s still a favorite guest on Sunday TV shows. Results of a USA Today survey found Mr. Kasich’s favorite whipping boy, Donald Trump, the candidate he says won’t be the nominee, is far and away the most frequent guest on Sunday talk shows in 2015. Mr. Trump made 36 appearances, followed by Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Bernie Sanders, each with 28 appearances. Ohio’s term-limited governor has made the small state of New Hampshire, with barely enough population to warrant two congressional districts, his make or break state.
When the Ides of March [15th] arrive this year, Ohio’s chronically crusty governor may also find himself a bit like Julius Caesar, who was done in by friends in his home state of Rome. When Quinnipiac surveyed Buckeye voters, their two-term governor who got a free ride to reelection in 2014 courtesy of major newspapers who turned their eyes to minor infractions of his Democratic challenger trailed Donald Trump by ten points [23-13%].
The winner of Ohio’s GOP primary, the date of which was changed by a very Kasich-friendly Republican legislature to help the governor out should he remain in the race until then, wins all 66 convention delegates. If a brokered convention does take place in Cleveland, Gov. Kasich could be a factor. But if Donald Trump keeps defying political gravity, as he’s done since he entered the race last summer, and sweeps the Buckeye State, where dreams of living in the White House can become reality or a bad nightmare, John Kasich and his well-known off-putting personality could be a non-factor.
Right now, Camp Kasich has little to trumpet except their ground game and endorsements. But what he has isn’t as good as what other GOP candidates can boast. And even so, the endorsement sweepstakes isn’t all Camp Kasich says it is. “It’s disingenuous for anyone to say endorsements will bring a wide swath of support,” said Tim Albrecht, an Iowa Republican strategist whose firm is working for Jeb Bush, according to a report at RealClearPolitics.
Albrecht said an endorsement can “garner media coverage and lend a campaign the appearance of momentum…At most, it can open the endorser’s network of support to a candidate and introduce an effective new messaging surrogate on behalf of the campaign. But rarely can such a stamp of approval help a lagging candidate reverse course or harness new energy.” Gov. Kasich fits that description perfectly, logging miles and miles in his shiny campaign bus with a ticket debt-bomb clock on it, used as a prop to mislead Granite State voters into thinking the debt is actually something to worry about, when it isn’t.