If new polling showing Gov. John Kasich stuck in fourth place in Michigan among likely Republican voters isn’t enough to spoil his dinner, then a protest of his nominating petitions in his birth state of Pennsylvania is sure to give him agita.
One of the final five left out of the original pack of 17 Republicans running for president, John Kasich is again banking on a single state to save his bacon from a forced withdraw. Ohio’s term-limited governor has performed poorly with the exception of New Hampshire, where he had six months of advance time to warm up to voters, but he finished in second, far behind the runaway winner, Donald Trump.
Kasich Down In Michigan, Ohio
Kasich got pounded in Iowa [next to last in 8th], Nevada [last in 5th] and South Carolina, [last in 5th] and isn’t expected to do much better next week on Super Tuesday, when a dozen states, most of them in the South, have their primaries. New polling from Michigan shows Donald Trump leading the GOP pack with 41 percent, then Marco Rubio in second with 17 percent and Ted Cruz finishing in third place with 14 percent. Kasich, whose campaign strategy has been to run as “the nice one,” makes it into low double-digits with 12 percent.
CNN reported that Kasich says Ohio is his for the taking. “I’m going to beat Donald Trump in Ohio. Once that happens, everything changes. Everything changes in this race,” he told told Michael Smerconish on Saturday. Kasich said if he “did well” in New Hampshire, he’d be on a rocket ship. That ride lasted less than week before he finished way back in South Carolina. Now he’s pointing to Michigan as his next stand. It could be his Waterloo instead.
Pennsylvania Petitions Problematic
Meanwhile, The Philly Voice reports that the Chairman of Pennsylvania Students for Rubio network has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Kasich’s nominating petition for the state primary. Nathaniel Rome, a junior at the University, claims ineligible and invalid signatures are on nomination petition for Kasich. Rome has petitioned Commonwealth Court to remove Kasich from the April 26 primary election ballot, alleging that the Ohio governor did not meet the statutory requirement of at least 2,000 signatures on his nominating petition, the Philly Voice reported.
According to Rome, many of the signatures of Kasich’s electors do not match the signatures of their voter registration cards. He told Philly Voice staff writer Michael Tanenbaum that “Other electors … are either not registered to vote, are not registered in the specified district or are not registered as Republicans … In several instances, the petition challenges illegible signatures or handwriting that appears to belong to third parties other than the stated elector.”
Kasich Gets Taste Of Court Maneuvers
For everyone who tracked Gov. Kasich’s run for reelection in 2014 will see the juicy irony here, as Camp Kasich helped orchestrate a similar episode when it knocked off the primary ballot the candidate for governor for the Libertarian Party of Ohio. Plunderbund has reported previously on the Nixonian-style derailing of Charlie Earl by Camp Kasich. Earl’s petitions, circulators and signatures were questioned and ruled improper.
Camp Kasich tried a similar tactic in New Hampshire, where an ally of the governor’s tried to get Donald Trump off the ballot, claiming Trump wasn’t really a Republican.
The Pennsylvania court has been asked by Rome to set aside Kasich’s nominating petition and remove him from the state’s April 26 primary ballot. A hearing on the petitions in Commonwealth Court is scheduled for March 9 at 1:30 p.m, the report notes.
No president has been elected in modern times without winning two of three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Not being able to compete in Pennsylvania would be a big blow for Kasich, that is, if he wins in Michigan and in Ohio, two states where polling shows Donald Trump in the lead.