MIAMI, March 13, 2016 — Ohio Governor John Kasich is a viable candidate to be President of the United States. We know because he keeps telling everyone this. Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment is never to speak ill of another Republican. It does not require that reality and the time space continuum be suspended.
Out of 17 candidates, Kasich made the final four. He badly trails businessman Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in delegates. In Kasichworld, he will win Ohio, gain momentum, and springboard to a brokered convention and then the White House.
It is long past time for America to know the real truth behind the John Kasich presidential run. Myths must be separated from facts.
Myth: Kasich was reelected Ohio Governor in 2014 by over 30 points because his policies were well liked.
Fact: Kasich got lucky. Overall he has been a good governor. However, his reelection was supposed to be every bit as difficult as the fight that Governor Scott Walker faced in Wisconsin. Then Kasich’s Democrat opponent got caught in a sex scandal that dragged down the entire Ohio Democrat Party. Kasich’s opponent self-destructed for reasons having nothing to do with Kasich or Ohio. The average Republican working at a local gas station could have won that race. Kasich had the easiest reelection race in the country.
Myth: Kasich’s message was well received in New Hampshire.
Fact: Kasich again got lucky. He was mired in single digits and was a non-factor in Iowa. After betting everything on New Hampshire, he was still fighting for survival. Three days before the New Hampshire Primary, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie carpet-bombed Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The establishment was fully prepared to solidify behind Rubio until that debate. Christie dragged down Rubio and himself. Kasich stayed out of the way. This allowed him to finish with 16% of the vote. The media described it as a strong second place finish despite him being more than 20 points behind winner Trump. By the time South Carolina rolled around, Kasich was again a non-factor.
Myth: Kasich has climbed in the ranks.
Fact: Every election there is one candidate who wins virtually nothing but stubbornly refuses to drop out of the race. For most of the 2008 presidential race, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was in fifth place behind Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. Giuliani, Thompson and Romney all dropped out. Huckabee to this day maintains that he came in second place.
In 2012, Texas Congressman Ron Paul had a cult following that was rabidly deep but only an inch wide. Paul did not win a single primary, while Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did. Santorum and Gingrich dropped out while Paul refused to do so. Paul supporters still insist he came in second. Despite finishing 60 million votes behind Romney counting the general election, some Paul supporters insist he won.
In 2016, Kasich has not won a single contest. His greatest victory was a 20-point landslide loss that was slightly better than other candidates who lost by more. In South Carolina, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Kasich all finished with between 7 and 8% of the vote. Rubio and Cruz had triple that total and Trump more than quadrupled the bottom tier. Bush dropped out despite finishing ahead of Kasich. Despite beating Kasich in most of the contests, Carson dropped out soon after Super Tuesday.
Using the Kasich standard, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore is a rock star. Out of 17 GOP candidates, Gilmore had the lowest vote total. By the time he dropped out, he was only one of six GOP candidates left standing. He could claim finishing in the top six, but his vote total was still dead last. Gilmore never claimed strong support. Kasich does.
Myth: Kasich is running a positive campaign.
Fact: It is easy to run a positive campaign when opponents see your effort as utterly insignificant. Kasich has spent the entire 2016 race watching candidates with more support eviscerate each other. Kasich has not had to do the dirty work because everyone else is doing it for him.
In the days leading up to the New Hampshire Primary, Rubio was on the rise. The establishment was on the verge of coalescing around him. This would have ended the campaigns of Bush, Kasich and Christie. To reiterate, Christie knocked down Rubio while boomeranging back and knocking Christie out of the race. Kasich glided by. Within days, Rubio was back as a top tier contender heading into South Carolina while Kasich returned to the bottom tier. Rubio’s strong finish in Nevada led Trump and Cruz to both level blistering attacks on him. Kasich stayed at the bottom and out of the conflict.
Trump, Cruz and Rubio continued to largely ignore Kasich because he has zero primary or caucus victories and a minuscule number of delegates.
Trump and Cruz are anti-establishment candidates. Kasich is hoping Rubio gets knocked out, leaving Kasich as the only establishment candidate. Normally the establishment rallies around the establishment candidate with the most votes. Kasich is asking them to take the unprecedented step of coalescing around the establishment candidate with the least number of votes. Again, he has won as many contests as Gilmore.
Myth: Kasich has crossover appeal to Democrats.
Fact: The liberal media always finds one Republican candidate to swoon over. The liberal media worship moderate Republicans while condemning devoted conservatives. In 2012, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. was the darling of the elites. He believed in climate change, which conservatives know is the least important issue in our lifetimes. Before him in 2008, McCain was the media darling. Romney in 2012 was initially seen as a nice guy who could save the GOP from Gingrich and Santorum. Those men were conservatives, and therefore evil and mean.
Once McCain and Romney faced off against an actual liberal, they were then compared to Adolf Hitler. Kasich can hug every Democrat in America. He can emote about his love for gays, blacks and every other identity group. When the rubber meets the road, they will support the first woman president Hillary Clinton over another white mail Republican. Kasich’s free media ride will end. Making things tougher for Kasich are closed primaries where only Republicans can vote. Kasich gets thrashed in those contests.
Myth: Kasich is boring.
Fact: Kasich is boring. He is mind-numbingly, colossally boring. He suffers from White Midwestern Governor Syndrome. He criticizes Trump for the violence breaking out Trump rallies. The only violence at a Kasich rally came when one person shoved another one and told the person to wake up and stop snoring. Illinois Senator Barack Obama got elected by offering a campaign of all style and zero substance. Kasich has substance but lacks an ounce of style. WMGS is curable. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is not boring. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty overcame his WMGS. In 1996, governors Jim Edgar of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio, John Engler of Michigan, and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin all fought perceptions that they were the same person. Even Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who is backing Kasich, knows they both are seen as dull. Trump, Cruz and Rubio are compelling speakers with powerful narratives. Kasich is a wonky bean-counter. He is Sominex.
Myth: Kasich has home state and regional appeal.
Fact: One poll does show Kasich leading in Ohio with 34% of the vote, five points ahead of Trump. That means two-thirds of voters in his own state do not want him. He claimed he had a chance to win Michigan. He held the equivalent of a victory rally while claiming to finish second. The following morning, Kasich was not even a distant second in Michigan. He actually finished third, which he refers to as a tie for second. In Illinois, Kasich is a distant third, with only half the support of Trump. In Missouri, Kasich is in last place in single digits.
Myth: Kasich has the slightest chance of becoming President of the United States.
Fact: If Trump, Cruz and Rubio all drop out and Hillary Clinton is indicted, Kasich has a chance. If Kasich also drops out, Gilmore can reenter the race and win.