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This guy wants to be president: Kasich explains why he’s still running

by Eric Ferguson on October 4, 2015 · 11 comments

clown carJohn Kasich said something odd during a recent appearance on Face the Nation, and I’m not just referring to “And when I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus.” I’m referring to this:

But what I have found, as you know, I’m now — my campaign has gone on for slightly more than just two months, John, and you know I’m in the top tier in New Hampshire, I’m beginning to rise in Iowa. So if it — if what I’m saying is not true, then I should be — I should be getting out of the race, which I am not because I think we’re making really good progress and connecting.

What question must he have been responding to? Why he’s staying in the race when he’s doing so poorly? No, he was asked about a “climate” where experienced governors are getting nowhere in the GOP primary polls. He responded by justifying staying in the race. It seems that was the question he was expecting. Why would you be preparing that answer if you’re not having to convince the voters in the donor primary that you’re still a viable candidate?
Actually, I expect Rand Paul to be the next to drop out following news that a supporting superPAC has decided his campaign is a lost cause, but maybe Kasich won’t be far behind — especially given that his claims abut the polls are pretty much just happy talk. He’s sure stuck down in the milieu in the national polling, though he referred specifically to “beginning to rise Iowa” and being “in the top tier in New Hampshire”. That’s a pretty generous definition of “top tier”, and apparently he thinks “rise” doesn’t include any upward motion from a low point.
Friday’s Pew Poll even has Kasich below the soon-to-depart Paul, down in positively Walkerian levels of barely registering.
The thing that annoys me is hearing liberals saying Kasich seems like the reasonable one. Is there some requirement to pick out a less-clownish clown from the passengers of the clown car? Yes, it’s true he’s given conservatives some reason to dislike him, like when he kept saying in the second debate that foreign policy problems need to include working with allies, and he’s one of the few Republican governors who accepted the Medicaid expansion to cover the people who fell in the hole between Medicaid eligibility and eligibility for private plan subsidies. He even cited the bible in defense of a liberal belief. Wrong party for that.
However, something to bring to the attention if anyone saying he’s not so bad, when Kasich was in the US House, he wrote the law restricting food stamp eligibility for childless adults to just three months in any three year period. This was too harsh even for some of his fellow Republicans, so states were allowed to seek waivers if unemployment was high enough. As governor, Kasich accepted the waiver — for some poor Ohioans. He sought waivers of overwhelmingly white rural counties, but excluded counties with large minority populations.

In 2014, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) had the option to waive time limits on food stamps for the entire state. Due to a struggling economy and high unemployment, Ohio had qualified for and accepted this statewide waiver from the US Department of Agriculture every year since 2007, including during most of Kasich’s first term as governor. But this time, Kasich rejected the waiver for the next two years in most of the state’s 88 counties. His administration did accept them for 16 counties in 2014 and for 17 counties in 2015. Most of these were rural counties with small and predominantly white populations. Urban counties and cities, most of which had high minority populations, did not get waivers.

When you have to temper compassion with fiscal austerity, you recognize you can’t help everybody, so … just help the white rural areas. “So if it — if what I’m saying is not true, then I should be — I should be getting out of the race … ” I have a feeling the donors might soon agree.
Comment below fold.

From Mac Hall: The Tim Pawlenty lesson is at play here … his decision to quit after the Iowa Straw Poll only helped Romney … so why would Kasich quit now when he is battling Bush-Rubio for the “Chamber” vote ?
Spending money in Iowa would be a waste in a state that has religious fever (Romney lost to Santorum last time while McCain came in fourth losing to Huckabee in 2008). Yeah, Kasich’s Iowa poll numbers are dismal … and expected, since he has not even run one television ad … (BTW did you see the NBC Iowa poll that Jindhal is polling at 6% in Iowa ? If you wanna know why, just watch the Des Moines television market where he is “preaching” about religious liberty — his commercials are unbelievable but obviously reaching his voters). Bush is running commercials and is at 7%. Bush has to play in Iowa … after all, his father and brother won there … but Kasich would be given a pass if he continues to ignore Iowa.
Kasich should do well at the first primary (in NH) when ballots are used instead of caucusgoers … but the real elections are in March with Super Tuesday (March 1) but I expect Kasich to focus on Michigan (March 8) and really know where he stands after the Florida and Ohio primaries on March 15 — both are winner-take-all …. so if the party is looking at an active contest, Kasich should be able to hold Ohio … giving him some power. Thus no reason for him to quit.
Actually, I am surprised that you think Rand Paul would be the next to go … remember his father did not quit chasing Romney until May. Paul has his followers … maybe not the Republican “chamber” but he has received the endorsements from ten sitting Members of Congress and I expect he will play well in Michigan, so don’t expect him to drop until May.
IMO, the next to drop will be Christie (after all Jindal hopes to make a showing in Iowa).
It may be a clown car, but somebody has to drive it, so no reason for Kasich not to try.
From Mac Hall:Regarding the Kasich’s 1996 role in SNAP reform, we gotta remember that it was Bill Clinton campaign pledge that America had to “end welfare as we know it”.
If you look at the 1996 bill it was easily approved by the Republican-controlled House and garnered 98 Democrats in support including Bill Luther, David Minge, Collin Peterson and Bruce Vento — so you could say this was a bipartisan bill.
The final bill added more child care money for welfare mothers who had to get jobs ($4 billion) and boosted the number of families states could exempt from time limits.
President Clinton signed the bill saying :
“Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3734, the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.” While far from perfect, this legislation provides an historic opportunity to end welfare as we know it and transform our broken welfare system by promoting the fundamental values of work, responsibility, and family.
This Act honors my basic principles of real welfare reform. It requires work of welfare recipients, limits the time they can stay on welfare, and provides child care and health care to help them make the move from welfare to work.
This Act gives States the responsibility that they have sought to reform the welfare system. This is a profound responsibility, and States must face it squarely. We will hold them accountable, insisting that they fulfill their duty to move people from welfare to work and to do right by our most vulnerable citizens, including children and battered women. I challenge each State to take advantage of its new flexibility to use money formerly available for welfare checks to encourage the private sector to provide jobs.”
= = = = = = = =
OK, it’s now almost twenty years … and if you buy Clinton’s argument of “promoting the fundamental values of work, responsibility” then if’s fair to evaluate how Kasich is applying it.
My impression is that Governor Kasich is doing this based on the premise that if you can work, and its available, you should get a job … if there is not a job, then provide the relief.
So, let’s ignore the issue of “white” and “black” and instead just look at the numbers … the unemployment rate by county – ’cause it shouldn’t matter if you are black or white, it should matter whether there are jobs available. Take Franklin County (which includes Columbus, Ohio’s largest city and reports 21% of as “black” with a workforce participation rate of about 68% while “white” participation rate was 71%, so not much of a difference) with an unemployment rate of 3.6% – Governor Kasich said they should not be included … while allowing assistance for Adams (6.8% unemployment), Ashtabula (5.1%), Clinton (5.2%), Coshocton (5.8%), Highland (5.3%), Huron (4.7%), Jackson (6.4%), Jefferson (6.5%), Meigs (7%), Monroe (8.3%), Morgan (5.9%), Muskingum (5%), Noble (5.9%), Ottawa (4.3%), Perry (5.1%), Pike (6.2%) and Scioto (6.5%) counties. The counties were chosen because the 24-month average unemployment rate was greater than 120 percent of the national unemployment rate during the same period. Yearly in applying for the waiver, Governor Kasich has moved counties in and out based on that method.
I thought I read somewhere that the State of New York also granted relief by counties. BTW, Minnesota is among the states that has not apply for a work requirements waiver for years.
I understand that an argument can be made that your location (state or county) should not be a factor whether relief is provided, but that is a different discussion.
That said, I do not like the inference that it is based on race … if Governor Kasich had simply failed to apply for the federal waiver, that would be a reason to complain that he was targeting blacks, but it seems that he is basing it on job availability … which should be the basis. The outcome is that his application benefits Appalachian Ohioans should not be inferred as a political statement (even if they mostly vote Republican and are predominantly Caucasian.)
From Dog Gone: Kasich lacks the name recognition to ever get out of the polling basement. Add to that his likely inability to carry his own state, where his popularity is less than stellar, and Kasich is a non-candidate, no matter how he continues to improve. He is highly unlikely to ever make up that ground, to bridge that gap. He lacks the charisma, among other problems that are not amenable to improvement.
From Mac Hall: Hi Dog Gone,
The last poll of Ohio voters that I saw gave Kasich pretty good marks.
“The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,096 Ohio voters on cell phones and land lines from Aug. 7 to Aug. 18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Kasich has a job approval rating of 61-28 percent, which matches his all-time high rating. Eighty-four percent of GOP voters like him, 62 percent of men and 60 percent of women approve of the job he is doing while Democrats are divided, 46-44 percent.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Any poll can be questioned for bias, but that poll also showed a competitive Republican-favored US Senate race between Portman and Strickland … so it would be hard for me to believe that Kasich, after never being threatened in his last gubernatorial election, would not poll well in Ohio. Remember Ohio is a Republican-leaning state (Republicans won every Executive election in 2014) … heck, Kasich even carried the Democrat stronghold of Cuyahoga County in 2014.
Charisma ? Yeah, that is what seems to be leading the GOP where it is the showman appeal of Trump, Carson and Fiorini … not substance.
This is still early preseason … let’s not forget in 2012 the “show” appeal of Bachmann, Cain, Perry, and Gingrich (plus Ron Paul) had them grabbing the headlines. No difference today, people are responding to who is making headlines … Trump appears to be beginning to slide … and Rubio is trending up.
Iowa will not be seen as a test (because of the religious voters who have backed Santorum and Huckabee in previous cycles) but New Hampshire is when the battle will start … how well Jeb! does against Rubio and Kasich will cast his fate. IF the Bush name cannot win in NH, and Florida would be his last stand — but Jeb! might see the handwriting on the wall (and the disappearance of donors) from a poor showing and bail.
Then assuming that Christie is gone and Bush floundering, will the Republican Establishment want someone who hosted “Heartland on FOX” or a young Cuban-American ????
My opinion hasn’t changed … a Kasich-Rubio ticket would hold the Electoral College where it is while a Rubio-Kasich ticket would give the GOP new life but the same Electoral College defeat.
From Dog Gone: Actually polls and general Ohio commentary are showing Kasich going down, and going down pretty steeply. The Columbus Dispatch reported in a Quinnipiac poll that Kasich was behind both Trump and Carson, with Fiorina and others gaining as he was losing ground. Kasich lacks recognition and he lacks charisma, he is not distinctive (like Trump) which makes him less recognizable in the candidate crowd. Nor is his track record in Ohio very good. Dick Armey just called Walker the new Pawlenty; the same can be said of Kasich, he looked good on paper, if you didn’t look too closely.
Not one of the governors that are running for the GOP nomination have very good state records. Jeb is as good as any, and he’s not doing well either. The oppo on these governors is pretty lengthy. I doubt any of them make it to the election as a serious contender.
From Mac Hall: Hi Dog Gone,
Did you see the latest Quinnipiac poll ?
Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets a 62 – 29 percent job approval rating, his highest ever. The Republican presidential contender even gets 42 percent of Democrats, with 45 percent disapproving.
Voters approve 46 – 31 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing and give Portman a 50 – 27 percent job approval rating.
In the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, Democratic challenger Ted Strickland has 46 percent, with Republican incumbent Sen. Rob Portman at 43 percent.
Conventional wisdom says Sen. Rob Portman’s 50 – 27 percent job approval rating should make him a safe bet for reelection.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kasich seems to have done more things to anger the GOP base (Medicaid expansion, rolling on labor, moderate immigration stance and confronting drug addiction) yet they do not seem to be hurting his favorability.
Obviously, not knowing who will be the standing candidates after Super Tuesday, but assuming that Kasich is still there, and Ohio’s history of sending “Favorite Sons” to the Convention, he should win the winner-take-all Ohio primary (especially if he does well in Michigan the week before.)
Yeah, I know that Trump and Carson are leading in the Ohio preference polls, but remember the words of Erik Paulsen who stated that Donald Trump was not the “right messenger” and instead advocated that a Governor would have the best experience. Thus, I cannot see Rob Portman wanting to be on the ballot with Trump/Carson/Forini at the top of the ticket … neither will David Joyce, Steve Stivers and Mike Turner.
Heck, Stivers tweeted : Trump-eting old Dem attacks is lame. In Congress @JohnKasich balanced the budget & as Gov turned around the state.
Kasich is far from dead.
Best regards,
From Dog Gone: I don’t know Mac, Kasich has a lot blowing up in his face right now, including some education related scandals. Also the race between Strickland when he ran against Kasich in what became Kasich’s first term was a real squeaker. If Strickland is outperforming Portman now, I wouldn’t bet on him against Strickland in the senate race either.
More to the point, I don’t see Kasich as being around when the time comes; due to lack of money and lack of popularity anywhere, much less Ohio, I would bet he will be long gone. I don’t see Kasich doing that well in Michigan either.
Kasich may still be perambulating, but he’s moving slow and I predict he is going to fall over pretty soon, possibly by the end of the year, unless something dramatic alters that. While I expect Trump and Carson will find they peaked too soon, not unlike Hermann Cain last time around, I don’t think Kasich will even rise to the level of a peak.
Not one governor for the right has decent chops due to the poor state of their states under right wing governance. Kasich has NOT turned around the state – which I would remind you, contrary to the folks at Freaks news thought the fix was in, was carried by Obama, and the most recent senator to be elected was Sherrod Brown. Ohio is just not that right wing based on how they’ve been swinging in presidential election years with higher turnouts.
Heck, it’s differing that’s fun, and then seeing who turns out to be right, er, I mean correct!
Regards back at you Mac~
From Dog Gone: Also, check out this comparison from neutral StateMaster:
They are great in Ohio for employment……but as you go down the list their citizens are not in great shape. It doesn’t show on this list of stats, but Ohio is considered a particularly poor state for retirement. Old people, who vote, are not happy, including the conservative ones. Obamacare is popular. Doesn’t make a good set of numbers for Kasich to run on, for anything. Ohio has tried REALLY REALLY hard to succeed in voter suppression and had hard pushback.
In a presidential election year, there is going to be big turnout, including older voters, for primaries. I don’t think that looks good for Kasich. I’d say he isn’t terribly viable.
Employment 5,605,417 [7th of 52]
Gross State Product > Current Dollars $418,258,000,000.00 [7th of 56]
Median Earnings for Male Full-Time, Year-Round Workers $41,874.00 [18th of 51]
Median Family Income $51,966.00 [27th of 51]
Median Household Income $42,240.00 [26th of 51]
Nest Egg Index 101.94 [23rd of 50]
Percent below poverty level 12.5% [24th of 51]
Percent of Children Below Poverty Level 18.3 % [23rd of 51]
Percent of Households With Retirement Income 20.2 % [6th of 51]
Percent of People 65 Years and Over Below Poverty Level 7.6 % [40th of 51]
Percent of Related Children Below Poverty Level 18 % [23rd of 51]
Personal income $373,684,000,000.00 [8th of 51]
Total tax burden $22,475,528,000.00 [8th of 50]
Total tax burden (per capita) $1,962.93 [27th of 50]
Unemployment 293,778 [6th of 52]
Unemployment rate 5% [13th of 52]
Welfare Caseloads > Percent change in total families -0.3% [29th of 54]
Welfare Caseloads > Percent change in total recipients -2.5% [29th of 54]
Welfare Caseloads > Total families 84,336 [4th of 54]
Welfare Caseloads > Total recipients 188,108 [6th of 54]
From Mac Hall: Hi Dog Gone,
AGREE – Heck, it’s differing that’s fun, and then seeing who turns out to be right, er, I mean correct!
The discussion isn’t about who will be elected president (the Electoral College makes that a foregone conclusion).
Yeah, I know that Sherrod Brown beat Mike DeWine in 2006 with the Iraq War as a backdrop. Ohio Republicans had a few state-level scandals that did not help DeWine … and helped elect Ted Strickland get elected governor with 60% of the vote. That is a blowout for Ohio Democrats … in a state where Republicans have dominated the governor’s mansion (Taft, Voinovich, Rhodes … okay, Taft had scandals and Rhodes had Kent State, but Voinovich was pretty good.)
My memory is that Kasich rode the anti-Obama train to victory over Strickland … even though Strickland got the NRA endorsement. The Republican strength is in the southern part of the state, and Strickland is from there … he’s a minister … he had everything going for him …. except the economy and Obama (not only ObamaCare but also Obama’s War-on-Coal while Strickland pushed a state “cap and trade” legislation.)
But that’s enough about Ohio politics.
I agree that Trump and Carson (as well as Forini) will self-destruct … you can see it everyday. The polls reflect respondents expressing outrage and these appear to be the “in the news” candidates … heck, let’s remember that it was just in August that Walker was leading in Minnesota.
I don’t see any reason for Kasich to drop out before the end of the year … New Hampshire will be key as will if the Koch brothers endorse Rubio. IF Kasich has a decent showing in NH (that would be in the top two), he can let Cruz and Rubio fight it out on SEC Super Tuesday and focus on Michigan and hold the winner-take-all Ohio contest … then he can focus on waiting until the convention to be a player.
Think about it … it’s in Cleveland … and here comes Kasich with his 100+ delegates, he becomes a kingmaker.
Heck, with what the House is going through now with its leadership debacle, the RNC convention will be must-watch viewing !
Best regards,
From Dog Gone: I think the key here is what you mentioned about how Strickland won — right wing scandals. Not a lot of attention has been focused on that, but Kasich has plenty just beginning to really heat up. And with Kasich’s recent position on cutting Social Security, well, I think he not only touched that dangerous and highly charged political third rail, he peed on it like peeing on an electric fence. That position is a loser even with most of the GOP rank and file. THAT could deny him the king maker role in the GOP national convention; my guess is he was hoping for some donor $$$ out of it. Short term gain in the hopes of making up the longer term loss from it, if he can. That is a strategy for those who see themselves losing, not surging.

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