Governor Kasich has run a serious and determined campaign for President. However, in this years cycle, where we had as many as 16 candidates seeking the nomination, he has struggled to break out of single digits in any national poll.
His gamble in New Hampshire did pay off to an extent. He finished in second place, but with only 16% of the vote. And to do that, he had to spend many months there as a temporary resident. That’s obviously not possible in any of the remaining contests.
We have had many other successful and respected Republican governors as part of this race. But there came a time for them to realize that it just wasn’t going to happen. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Chris Christie and now Jeb Bush have come to recognize the reality that they didn’t have the support necessary to continue.
When you take the majority of national and state polls, its now clear that we essentially have a 3-man race between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Donald Trump is leading the race as he has been for months. It saddens me to see that so many who call themselves Republicans are supporting a man whose record and positions are so indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton, but that’s where we are.
There is an immediate need for sane Republicans to stop dividing their votes amongst the quality candidates and coalesce around one in order to stop Trump.
Jeb Bush recognized that he didn’t have the support to be that candidate. For the good of the party and of the nation, Governor Kasich needs to come to the same realization.
One only has to look at the latest NBC/WSJ poll to see that Kasich doesn’t have the support to beat Trump, even in a 2-man race.
Rubio: 57 Trump: 41
Cruz: 56 Trump: 40
Trump: 52 Kasich: 44
Trump: 54 Bush: 43
Kasich also gets only half the support of the next highest candidate in the RCP average of national polls.
Now, it’s no secret that I have supported Rubio from day one. But if the situation between Rubio and Kasich were reversed, I would be calling for Rubio to drop out. I would crawl over broken glass to vote for John Kasich over Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
But that’s not where we are. Trump must not become our party’s nominee. It will ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and possibly destroy the Republican Party. It will guarantee that the GOP loses their Senate majority, which is already tenuous.
Our own Senator Rob Portman is in a close race, and Trump at the top of the ticket will almost certainly lead to Senator Ted Strickland as his replacement. Governor Kasich would be wise to think about this.
Our governor should be proud of the campaign he has run. But he also should do as Governor Bush and his fellow governors have done, and withdraw from the race to let the strongest candidate beat Donald Trump.
All indications are, however, that Kasich intends to continue.
If he does, voters in Ohio and elsewhere need to think about their votes. There is nothing Donald Trump would love more than for Kasich to stay in this race and bleed votes and delegates from Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. There’s a reason Trump hasn’t attacked Kasich since before the new year.
There is also no disloyalty to Kasich in making the choice to stop Trump instead of voting for the governor. You know that Governor Kasich would be sickened by the notion of Trump as our nominee, even if he still erroneously believes he himself has a path to victory. Don’t throw your vote away by voting for someone who’s going to come in 4th or 5th place.
Don’t let Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton win. The rest of us sane Republicans are counting on you.