John Kasich Might Be the GOP's Antidote to the Trump Takeover
The Republican Party may be burning to the ground faster than the house in the “Love The Way You Lie” video, but a strapping old metaphorical firefighter named John Kasich may be on the way to put out some of the flames. Admittedly, the thoughtful Ohio Governor during every GOP debate looks like he wound up in a circus sideshow while looking for the bathroom at a carnival, but now he may actually stand a chance. Thanks to a new level of panic and terror in the Republican Party over Donald Trump’s path toward the nomination, Kasich has become a serious contender in the last-ditch campaign to stop the Cheetos Puffs’ new American fascism from taking the White House.
That isn’t to say that Kasich will win the nomination and face off against the Democratic candidate later this year—he has almost no chance. What Kasich represents now is a roadblock to help stem the suffering that Trump has caused to the Republican Party and deny him the necessary 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination. To do this, Kasich absolutely has to win in Ohio, because of a rule that allocates the state’s 66 delegates through a winner-takes-all basis. If he gets even one more vote than Trump, he’ll box Trump out from taking any of the state’s delegates and finally stop his baby hands from taking the nomination.
Kasich may be the long shot third option nationally after Robo Rubio’s crash and burn, but his battle to win Ohio has always been close. Both Kasich and Trump have been in a single-digit polling dance for months. Kasich may only have 63 delegates compared to Trump’s 463, but Kasich’s home state advantage is serving him well in the battle for the Buckeye state. And if this election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that we’ve always got to expect the unexpected. Even the past seven days in the tumultuous election cycle have altered the race dramatically. Simmering violence at Trump’s racist and xenophobic campaign rallies finally boiled over into arrests and horrifying violence against protestors by Trump supporters and even the police. Kasich, by comparison, now looks like the GOP’s guardian angel, carrying their last shreds of humanity on his humble shoulders—and party leaders have taken notice.
In the days leading up to today’s contest, a surprising array of supporters have come out in support of Kasich’s last-ditch fight in Ohio. The Republican’s 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House John Boehner have both thrown their support behind the state governor’s bid to win the state. Romney made appearances alongside Kasich at two events yesterday to speak out about Trump and rally Kasich supporters. Meanwhile, Boehner stepped away from his quiet retirement from politics to announce that he’d cast an early-voter ballot for Kasich based on their 18-year friendship while serving in Congress together.
That wasn’t even the strangest endorsement. Rubio’s communications director, Alex Conant, sent out a desperate call to voters urging them to vote for Kasich so they can stop Trump. It was part of a strategy to convince Kasich to urge his own voters in Florida’s winner-takes-all primary to vote for Rubio, which would’ve been a good idea if he wasn’t losing the Sunshine state by double digits to Trump. Kasich’s team is well aware of the disconnect and their spokesperson Rob Nichols responded to Conant’s with a gallon of tea.
Kasich spox Rob Nichols on Rubio news: "We were going to win in OH without his help, just as he's going to lose in FL w/o ours"
— Kathleen Ronayne (@kronayne) March 11, 2016
All eyes will be on Ohio tonight as voters head to the ballot boxes and potentially decide the fate of the GOP. Kasich’s already been vocal about his decision to drop out if he doesn’t win Ohio and, with the Rubio campaign drawing its last breath before he finally concedes defeat, the landscape of the presidential race may look a lot different by Wednesday morning.
Images via The Associated Press, ABC News,
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