He’s running fourth in a three-candidate Republican race for president, so what else can go wrong for Ohio Gov. John Kasich? Lots, actually.
Even though he’s still one of three active candidates, he’s fourth in the delegate count behind Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out March 15 following the drubbing Donald Trump delivered him in his home state.
Soldiering on despite the shellacking he took from Trump in five states eastern states Tuesday, John Kasich, who even lost his hometown of Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania, is holding fast to his fabulous thesis that he alone can unite Republicans and beat Hillary Clinton, should she become the Democratic nominee as all signs say she will, in the fall General Election.
Gov. Kasich’s claim about what the polls say about him versus Hillary Clinton got whittled down a notch Thursday. Based on a survey of 834 likely U.S. voters released Wednesday by veteran pollster John Zogby, in a Clinton and Gov. John Kasich matchup, 44 percent of all likely U.S. voters choose Mrs. Clinton, 41 percent Mr. Kasich and 15 percent are not sure.
“John Kasich is not polling better than Hillary Clinton anymore but still does the best against Clinton compared with his Republican counterparts,” Zoby wrote.
The Akron Beacon Journal, which a week ago advised him to stay in the race, reversed course. “On Tuesday, Republican voters reiterated that they just aren’t keen on the Kasich resume or what he has to say. It is time to come home, governor.”
For all his “take a deep breathe” talk about polls showing him beating Mrs. Clinton in the fall, Ohio’s 63-year old term-limited chief executive has two problems he can’t control that are standing in his way like a big boulder blocking traffic on a narrow road.
One big boulder is a cash-strapped Kasich campaign. It should steam up Kasich’s windows when an analysis by the AP of who’s giving and who’s not, finds Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton attracting about the same number of Bush-Rubio donors as did their campaigns. “Kasich has been in desperate need of more donors willing to give as much as they can,” the AP reported, noting that Gov. Kasich started April with just $1.2 million cash on hand.
Who Wants To Identify As A Republican?
Based on reports of campaign contributions filed with the Federal Election Commission from the beginning of the 2016 presidential election cycle through the end of March, the AP analysis revealed that Mr. Kasich has “attracted 174 maxed-out donors who also gave the maximum to Bush and Rubio. He’s won over some of the party’s top female donors, including Anna Mann, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife; Lynne Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress; and Helen DeVos, wife of Amway founder Richard DeVos.”
A second boulder, maybe bigger, comes from a Pew Research survey on the erosion of the Republican Party brand. “The Republican Party’s image, already quite negative, has slipped since last fall,” Pew reported. “Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view. Unfavorable opinions of the GOP are now as high as at any point since 1992.”
Gov. Kasich or any other Republican candidate will have their hands full just uniting, if they can, their own party. John Kasich has been, is now, and will forever be a Republican, in every way. So while he says the GOP is his “vehicle not his master,” he’s welded himself through the decades to his vehicle of choice, notwithstanding his puzzling claim it isn’t.
Pew noted that just five months ago in October, 37 percent viewed the Republican Party favorably and 58 percent viewed it unfavorably. “The decline in favorability since then has largely come among Republicans themselves: In the current survey, 68% of Republicans view their party positively, down from 79% last fall.”
Will New Voters Break Democratic?
In separate news that has some bearing on the shrinking Republican party base, eligible voters registering to vote could break to Democrats, further exacerbating GOP problems.
The Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a progressive nonprofit group, is engaged in a voter registration drive it says plans to register 150,000 voters in Ohio. Republicans like Kasich, who have done more to limit voting than expand it, know that large numbers of eligible Ohioans haven’t registered to vote. Many of these eligible but unregistered voters live in urban areas, which are prime target areas for the approximately 100 paid canvassers who are undertaking the drive.
According to reports on the group’s effort, the coalition of faith-based organizations, labor unions and others said it also wants to engage new voters on issues affecting their communities and will be asking them about their interests. Organizers plan to remind voters about the impact local races have on their lives.
It’s significant, therefore, that Ohio’s voter rolls have dwindled 757,998 more registered voters from their high eight years ago to about 7.5 million registered voters today. Camille Wimbish, Esq., Election Administration Director, Ohio Voice, told Plunderbund today that, based on voter statistics from Ohio’s largest cities, a gap of about 519,109 voters exists between those eligible to vote and those who haven’t registered to vote.