Why is Kasich Still Running
Kasich remains the epitome of an underdog in the GOP presidential nomination race. Republican delegate counts now stand at Donald Trump with 739, Ted Cruz with 465, and John Kasich with 143 delegates. The natural question that then arises is why is Kasich still in this race? What can the GOP or Kasich on his own gain from remaining in the race?
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has endorsed Cruz, despite his genuine support for Kasich’s views, saying, “John Kasich I think is the most viable general election candidate. I just don’t see how John gets through the primary. This is an outside year—he’s seen as an insider. So I think the best alternative to Donald Trump, to stop him from getting to 1,237 [delegates], is Ted Cruz.” For many politicians and voters, the race is becoming less about where they stand on the issues, and more about stopping Trump from getting enough delegates to seize the nomination. It is, after all, mathematically impossible for Kasich to win the nomination from primaries alone.
Kasich has adamantly refused to step out of the way for a two-man race, stating Ted Cruz’s call for him to drop out of the race was absurd, and that if he left, Trump would be sure to win the nomination. According to Kasich, if he were to have dropped out even earlier, Trump would have most likely seized Ohio.
His decision to remain in the race is more than just to stop Trump, though; he believes in his campaign more than Cruz’s: “Frankly, I’m the one that can win in the fall. And I’m the one that can get the crossover vote.” Because Kasich is more moderate Republican than Cruz and Trump, both considered extreme in their views on issues like abortion and illegal immigration, he does have a chance of winning over more moderate voters in the face of, say, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. “I have positions that unify people,” Kasich says.
He also refuses to consider teaming up with Cruz. For instance, they could split the map, with Kasich focused on the east where he is likely to gain votes, and Cruz focused on the west, where his chances of gaining voters are higher. But Kasich believes he has enough momentum to go both east and west, and that not doing so would make no sense.
Kasich will not rally behind Cruz, as he believes there will be a contested convention. Many in the #NeverTrump and #AnyoneButTrump camps would be likely to support Kasich. He claims delegates will consider two things: who can win in the fall and who would actually make a good president.
Kasich believes he will win some districts in Wisconsin and do well in Pennsylvania, where he is “basically in a statistical tie with Trump.” Kasich even believes he will pick up delegates in New York.
Many experts believe that Wisconsin, though, may be Kasich’s last stand. And things are looking up for him with people in Wisconsin speaking out against Trump. Dean of conservative radio show Charlie Sykes compared Trump to a “12-year old bully on the playground,” stating, “Here in Wisconsin we value things like civility, decency and actual conservative principles. With Trump and Cruz continuing to argue over their wives and Trump’s indecent comments on women in general, Kasich could have a chance.
The next major Republican primary will take place in Wisconsin on April 5.