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Why is GOP avoiding Kasich in Clinton matchup?

Written By | Mar 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2016 — With the majority of the GOP presidential primaries and caucuses in the rearview mirror, why do most Americans support Ohio Gov. John Kasich over Hillary Clinton? Equally important, why is the GOP establishment avoiding Kasich as the most politically logical nominee to take on Clinton in the general election?

As Trump nears the 1,237-delegate nomination threshold, the presidential anybody-but- Trump stakes become higher and higher. As it stands now, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, with 463 delegates to Trump’s 738, will not cross the nomination threshold without a contested convention. Even with all of the inventive mathematical equations that the Texas senator suggests, his fate and Kasich’s, and perhaps Trump’s lies squarely in the hands of the convention delegates.

Jeb Bush reaches decision to endorse Ted Cruz

A Quinnipiac University National Poll released on Wednesday gauges Trump’s strength and Kasich’s chances of winning a one-on-one election battle with Clinton. According to QuinnipiacKasich runs best in head-to-head general election matchups among all American voters. He outdistances all other candidates by wide margins. Here are the results:

  • Clinton tops Trump 46 – 40 percent;
  • Clinton gets 45 percent to 42 percent for Cruz;
  • Kasich tops Clinton 47 to 39 percent;
  • Sanders beats Trump 52 to 38 percent;
  • Sanders tops Cruz 50 to 39 percent;
  • Kasich gets 45 percent to Sanders’ 44 percent.

The process for selecting a presidential candidate is typically to have one candidate survive the primary and caucus battlefield and go on the convention with the nomination and the Party mantle firmly in hand. Unfortunately for the GOP establishment, Trump decided to rewrite the political primary handbook for 2016.

Trump still leads national polls of Republicans, with 43 percent to Cruz’s 29 percent, according to the Quinnipiac poll. According to the Real Clear Politics Averages, Trump leads Cruz with 44 percent to the Texas senator’s 28.6 percent.

Kasich, on the other hand, has won only his home state of Ohio, and in the Quinnipiac and Real Clear Politics polls he comes in at 16 percent and at 18.4 percent, respectively. How does placing last entitle Kasich to the GOP nomination? It’s about the election math. Kasich, the least popular candidate among Republicans, is the strongest candidate against Hillary. Presidential elections are about winning; they aren’t just popularity contests.

The GOP will unite; even behind Trump

In Real Clear match-ups between Clinton and Cruz, Cruz has beaten Clinton only once—by a single point—tied once, and lost three times. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

One the other hand, Kasich in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton now leads 48.0 to Clinton’s 42.8. In addition, last-place Kasich is first place in taking on Clinton in the past month: He lead Clinton by 3 points, 6 points, 4 points, and this past week, by 8 points.

American voters are not feeling the love for Trump or Clinton. At least 54 percent say they would not ever vote for Trump and 43 percent say no way to Clinton. Only 14 percent reject Kasich. Elections are won by votes.

If winning back the White House is the goal, then why will the GOP elite not back Kasich if the convention is contested?

Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the "New York Times," and has written for the "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," “GOPUSA,” "Soul Source" and "Writers Digest" magazines as well as the Ann Arbor and Cleveland "Examiner," "Free Patriot," "Conservatives4 Palin" and "Positively Republican." The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK - 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014. He writes for Communities Digital News, and his weekly show "Standing at Freedom’s Gate" on Community Digital News Hour tackles the latest national and international issues of freedom, faith and protecting the homeland and heartland of America as well as solutions that are needed. Fobbs also writes for Clash Daily, Renew America and BuzzPo. He covers Second Amendment, Illegal Immigration, Pro-Life, patriotism, terrorism and other domestic and foreign affairs issues. As the former 12-year Community Concerns columnist with The Detroit News, he covered community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, business, government relations, and community and business dispute resolution. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1978 and attended Wayne State University Law School. He spearheaded and managed state and national campaigns as well as several of President George W. Bush's White House initiatives in areas including Education, Social Security, Welfare Reform, and Faith-Based Initiatives.