That’s the case now with the release of a very small poll of (600) likely Republican voters in New Hampshire that carries a 4 percent margin of error (larger than good polling).
The New Hampshire Poll, conducted by The American Research Group, has Kasich beating President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in head to head matchups.
Kasich, like Trump, has not really stopped campaigning, hoping appearances on national TV shows defending expanded Medicaid as his only issue of worth will keep him the darling of state and national media desperately looking for candidate who has a real chance of defeating Trump, should the beleaguered president still be president in 2020.
Kasich Is ‘Symbolic’ Candidate
Like Donald Trump, the New York billionaire, braggadocio, and inveterate liar whose non-traditional campaign last year in the Republican primary for president decimated each of his rivals in turn, including Kasich, the Buckeye State’s lame-duck leader continues to bask in media’s myopic fascination with him as a viable challenger to Trump.
Among likely GOP voters, Kasich beats Trump 52-40, and beats Pence 41-27 – impressive for anyone who doesn’t remember the score last year and who doesn’t bother to look past the headline. Last year, after spending nearly all him time and money, what little he had of it, in tiny libertarian-leaning New Hampshire, Kasich could do no better than placing second to Trump, who outdistanced Ohio’s quirky and petulant leader by 20-plus points (35.23 percentto 15.72 percent).
In 20 months, Kasich will not be governor anymore. In fact, he won’t be anything but a gypsy politico looking for another megaphone to speak through. In 2020, Kasich’s record as governor will be crystal clear, and the transparency of his eight years in office will show to anyone who dares take a clear-eyed look that he wasn’t good for Ohio, a state that lagged in jobs and wages as it fell into the bottom half of state rankings on most critical criteria.
A dialog found at FiveThirtyEight.com called, “What Kind Of Republican Might Challenge Trump In 2020?” includes banter between Nate Silver and colleagues with talk about John Kasich. The general consensus is that while Kasich might be considered a “serious candidate,” the likelihood of him doing better than last year is a stretch.
“Well, he’s (Kasich) serious about it. It depends if other people will take him seriously,” said Micah Cohen, Political Editor at FiveThirtyEight.
Nate Silver, the lead prognosticator at FiveThirtyEight, responds, “But he’s … probably not going to win going after Trump from the left.”
Perry Bacon, senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight, offers what everyone knows, “Kasich was a terrible candidate in 2016. He won one state: Ohio.”
Silver adds an excellent point based on last year’s history: “‘Serious’ doesn’t necessarily mean someone can win, though.”
Perry notes another important insight on future races: “I like the idea of a Koch-backed challenger. That would be serious. Kasich is not that challenger. I don’t think the Koch groups like him.” Perry adds, “Kasich sounds like a symbolic candidate, someone who can air all the grievances that D.C. and NYC Republicans have with Trump. But he doesn’t really sound like someone who would win.”
“It’s easier to imagine someone (Mike Lee of Utah) catching fire in Iowa and winning the nomination than someone (Kasich?) catching fire in New Hampshire and doing so. (Although neither is very likely,)” Silver says.
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