Over the last few months, much of the media’s attention has been focused on the insane antics of Donald Trump. Many GOP candidates have unsuccessfully tried to take him down, much to the dismay of establishment Republicans. The current thinking is that if he or Ted Cruz win the party’s nomination, they will not only lose the election, but it would also hurt GOP candidates down the ballot.
However, a new poll out of New Hampshire shows that there is one establishment candidate who is sneaking up behind Trump and could possibly emerge as a legitimate threat in that primary: John Kasich.
Via The Columbus Dispatch:
Kasich gets 13 percent in an American Research Group poll of likely primary voters, behind only Donald Trump (21 percent) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (15).
Right behind the Ohio governor are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (12 percent) and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (10 percent).
A third-place finish undoubtedly would be celebrated by the Kasich campaign – especially if they topped fellow “establishment lane” stalwarts Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who receives only 7 percent. Kasich was sixth in two other recently released polls of the Granite State, although several of the contenders are jumbled in the middle of the pack. (Source)
John Kasich is a long shot to win the GOP nomination, but he is the popular governor of Ohio, a state they must win in order to take the White House. One of the other strengths to his campaign is that he isn’t seen as a radical like Ted Cruz, or an insane racist like Donald Trump.
If Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they have to find someone who won’t isolate moderate independents and isn’t seen as overly threatening to liberals who might not turn out to vote if they don’t feel threatened by the GOP nominee.
This is where John Kasich comes in. While he doesn’t come across as a radical conservative, he’s done a good job of masking the fact that his views lie well to the right. Kasich has history of job creation in Ohio, thanks in part to the fracking boom.
Kasich has mostly been ignored in the Republican primary race, but other than Chris Christie, he has plenty of executive experience during his tenure as Ohio’s governor. He’s also a viable vice presidential pick due to the fact that Republicans must have Ohio to win.
As the novelty candidates like Ben Carson fade away, establishment Republicans will attempt to flex their muscles against the Tea Party and celebrity figures who have dominated the race so far. Of all the states besides Florida which may or may not go for Marco Rubio, Kasich could very well deliver Ohio for the GOP if he is on the ticket.
In the next few weeks, GOP voters and the Republican establishment have to decide where the future of the party will go. Kasich is a candidate who won’t hurt other Republicans down the ballot and bring out apathetic liberals in the way that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would.
If the GOP wants to avoid becoming an endangered species on the national level, Kasich is the candidate to help them. Whether or not the Republican Party comes to their senses between now and the primaries remains to be seen.
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