Donald Trump showed again Tuesday that he can take a licking and keep on ticking, as he crushed his two remaining Republican presidential rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, by lopsided margins in the closed New York State Republican primary.
With 95 delegates up for grabs, Trump, the Big Apple billionaire and folk hero, scooped up nearly all of them, leaving Cruz with zero for his efforts and John Kasich with only a couple after eating his weight in NYC deli fare.
By the wee hours of Wednesday morning with nearly all the vote in, Donald Trump blew away Kasich [25.1%] and Cruz [14.5] with 60.5 percent of the vote. This was the 32nd GOP primary and/or caucus this election cycle that Gov. Kasich has actively competed in and lost.
Ohio’s term-limited, 63-year old governor spent months campaigning in little New Hampshire, but even there, where voter sentiments trended more libertarian and voters crossing over was permitted, he finished in second place, 20 points [15.72%] behind Trump [35.24%]. In Tuesday’s New York primary, Trump extended his margin of victory substantially to 35 percent.
Camp Kasich will again downplay the terrible results from this contest as it moves the goal posts again, this time to next Tuesday, when a bevy of other races hold their primaries. Kasich PR pros will argue that these states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island—are better suited to John Kasich because they tend to be more moderate. That may make some sense until those same states are also viewed as being friendly to front-runner Trump.
Mr. Kasich’s Hail Mary strategy is to heist the nomination when Republicans convene in Cleveland in July to select their nominee. Settling for Mr. Kasich because Trump or Cruz can’t get the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination is the Kasich plan.
“We’re going to be deadlocked” going into the Republican National Convention, CNN reported Kasich saying Tuesday from Maryland, where he’s campaigning. “Then what delegates are going to do is do something crazy — consider who can win in the fall.”
Winning isn’t important to Camp Kasich, which seems to be spot on since they haven’t been able to do that more than once so far. And what’s Ohio’s snarky governor’s attitude about losing versus winning? Not to worry, it’s all about the convention, stupid.
“Even if they create rules, it doesn’t really matter,” said Kasich, The Washington Post reported. “Nobody’s going to get enough delegates. I mean, the Trump organization is complaining all the time about this and that. You know why? Because they know they won’t have enough delegates to win on the first ballot, and then we’re going to be deadlocked.”
According to exit poll reporting, Camp Kasich will wrap its arms around some promising numbers: 39 percent of voters who decided in the final few days voted for Kasich, who won the endorsement of the New York Daily News and former New York Gov. George Pataki. Another 24 percent of voters said that Kasich was the most electable candidate, a narrative Ohio’s governor has been pushing at every turn. Still, 27 percent of Republican voters said the party should nominate “the best candidate” over the delegate leader in a contested convention, but that lot also went for Kasich by 32 points.
“Mr. Kasich is not an exciting candidate, or even a political moderate,” The New York Times editorial board wrote. “But he is the most sane-sounding individual in the Republican field, and has been from the start. Unlike his rivals, he’s shown a willingness to play by the rules. His presence in the race offers moderate Republicans a palatable alternative in the primaries and caucuses, and also if there is a real fight at the convention.”
For many in Ohio, especially Plunderbund’s dedicated readership, the sane-sounding editorial by the NY Times board sounds so insane. John Kasich is not a moderate, as his record on so many topics clearly shows. But the narrative has stuck, and reporters, state and national, are trapped in it, unable to match his record with his rhetoric on the campaign trail.
Plunderbund contributor David Dewitt wrote recently about why capturing the real John Kasich by the likes of the NYT and other national media has so far eluded them.
“Just who exactly is the pleated-khaki, aww shucks, dork dad Republican Presidential candidate going by the name John Kasich on the campaign trail this year? He bears little resemblance to the person we know as governor of Ohio, save perhaps his perpetual awkwardness. The false-front persona Kasich has been deploying since announcing his bid for the Presidency is nothing more than a political marketing product, and not a very believable one, but occasionally the mask slips. OK, often the mask slips, and Kasich is returned to his arrogant, prickly, rude, off-putting jerk self. Not that anyone outside of Ohio would notice because, well, as the Republican primary has thus far demonstrated, nobody outside of Ohio gives a damn about John Kasich.”