As rumors continue to swirl that President Trump antagonist and former Gov. John Kasich will throw his hat in the presidential ring, some interesting numbers are popping up about Kasich’s potential pathway to victory– or lack thereof.
Data point #1: According to late March Morning Consult polling, Kasich would get 13 percent against Trump in a GOP presidential primary. That’s a little less than the percentage he got in a University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire-only poll done in February, which put his support at 17 percent.
Data point #2: Kasich, however, is the top choice for apparently quite a lot of young people according to this new poll from College Reaction.
In this one, they didn’t test Kasich head-to-head against Trump– a scenario in which he likely pulls in a bunch of #nevertrumpers who otherwise aren’t sold on Kasich and maybe offered Howard Schultz or Larry Hogan as their first choices, but would take Kasich over the President. They simply asked college students who they’d vote for. And in that scenario, Kasich would get about 8 percent, straight up, not factoring in who else was on the ballot whatsoever.
8 percent is a pretty danged high number for a former governor who didn’t make much of a dent in 2016 apart from winning his home state and appearing towards the end of the contest as someone who could have been viable if he’d campaigned harder upfront.
Ohio political reporters and bloggers know well the numerous stories about how Kasich generally interacts better with younger people and kids than he does core Republican voters– older, and more conservative– or even Gen Xers.
Might John Kasich be the foremost GOP politician of our time who would benefit if the voting age were lowered to 16? Trump, who is physically in the Oval Office and has universal name ID, only just about doubles Kasich’s first-choice numbers in the College Reaction poll.
It sure underlines that if Kasich runs, he’s going to have to focus just about all of his attention on college campuses and young voter turnout operations to pick off any delegates from Trump.