Presidential candidate and governor of Ohio John Kasich is on his way down and out, particularly in his own state where his numbers have been doing badly recently.
Today, the Columbus Dispatch noted that Kasich was behind Turnip-top Trump and theocrat Carson in his own home state, which is a key swing state in the 2016 election cycle. Kasich is in his second term, which means he cannot run again for governor in Ohio, unless there is an interim four year term.
But now 23 percent of Ohio Republicans pick billionaire Donald Trump and 18 percent want retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. Kasich comes in third with 13 percent. Following not too far behind are U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz with 11 percent and businesswoman Carly Fiorina with 10.
“Gov. John Kasich’s big card was his enormous popularity in Ohio, generally considered the most important swing state in the November election,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “But with Trump zooming well past him in the Buckeye State and Kasich’s numbers in Florida and Pennsylvania in low single digits, the Ohio governor’s campaign is going in the wrong direction.”
Kasich beat Trump by 6 points, 27 percent to 21 percent, among Ohio Republicans in a Quinnipiac University poll released in August.
In Florida, Trump tops the Republican primary list with 28 percent with Carson at 16 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (14) former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (12) and Cruz 6 percent. Kasich comes in at 2 percent.
So it would seem the best Kasich can hope for, come next year, is that he is the VP nominee, given his current lack of popularity and an inherent lack of any distinguishing features or countervaling charisma. Kasich lacks name recognition, outside of Ohio, and he lacks any stellar success within his own borders. Kasich in some respects resembles Tim Pawlenty, a not tremendously successful governor, but modestly popular among conservatives, but so boring no one knows him or cares to know him.
Because his state is the location for the 2016 Republican National Convention, he might be offered the VP slot in the hopes that it will help the GOP ticket carry Ohio. I would point out that in the last election cycle, Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s VP did not carry the state of Wisconsin for the GOP ticket. In the election cycle preceding that presidential race, holding the GOP national convention in Minnesota did nothing for the McCain / Palin ticket in carrying Minnesota either.
So as we wend our way through the fall of 2015, I expect that Kasich will continue trying for a little while longer, but he is largely a spent force on the right. More likely he will return to the private sector entirely. Dick Morris recently called Scott Walker the new T-Paw; I think the same could be said of Kasich. In neither case is it a compliment.
Comments below fold.
From Eric Ferguson: I didn’t know Kasich was term limited. That makes him irrelevant if he doesn’t win. Can’t rule out the possibility he’ll be the VP pick because of Ohio, but I’m thinking a male nominee is going to pick a female VP, and since I don’t think Fiorina will win, I’m expecting we will see a male nominee picking a female running mate, maybe Fiorina. But she might be so toxic by then that the VP will be someone not running for president.
Seeing how voters aren’t flocking to candidates from their states, I’m starting to wonder just how relevant the state still is. Ideological purity and outsider status seem much more important to current Republicans. I wonder if Democrats would still rally around a candidate they generally disliked but came from their own state.
From Dog Gone: He is only sort-of term limited. He is term limited to two consecutive terms. But multiple governors of Ohio have served terms, sat out the mandatory 4 year gap term, and then run for office again, and won, for another two terms (I think one ran for three sets of two, if I remember correctly).
But just as it seems unlikely T-Paw could have gotten re-elected once he left office and took a stab at being the presidential nominee + a 4 year term out of office, I don’t think Kasich can do what other Ohio governors have done. Being term limited as governor is, I believe, a key facet of his candidacy, as much or more so than the GOP holding their convention in Ohio. They seem happy to snub him a good part of the time.
More likely if he ran for anything it would be when Sherrod Brown came up next time in 4 years. However, Kasich has had an active private sector career and I would bet that absent a strong showing in the polls – being in the top two or three – he quits and goes private sector. There is enough money for him there.