[The following is a guest post from a personal friend, Phil Van Treuren. I am also a Rubio delegate, and already cast my vote for Rubio weeks ago. But Phil has a point here and if I still had yet to vote, I would be thinking long and hard about this. -Nick]
No doubt about it: Marco Rubio would be one hell of a standard bearer for the GOP in a general election. He’s the best candidate to beat Hillary in November, boost our underticket candidates, and grow our party. I’m proud to be a Rubio delegate, and would be proud to call him my president.
But I voted for John Kasich, not Rubio, in the Ohio primary yesterday.
My reason is simple: to stop megalomaniac Donald Trump from clinching the nomination and leading our party into a train wreck this fall.
Listen: Ohio is a winner-take-all primary state. The top vote-getter receives every one of our 66 delegates. If we handed them out proportionally, I’d gladly vote for Rubio in hopes of him clinching a few.
But that’s not the reality here, folks. Neither Rubio or Cruz have a hope of winning Ohio; polling consistently shows them far behind Trump. John Kasich, though, is running neck-and-neck with The Donald here, and a few extra votes could put him over the top.
If Trump gets the nomination, you might as well start calling Hillary “Madam President.”
Worse than that: with Trump on the ballot, we’ll have a slaughter of the Republican underticket in Ohio unlike anything you’ve seen in a generation. Say hello to a Senator Strickland, GOP losses in the state legislature, and a bloodbath for Republican candidates in counties across the Buckeye State.
I get it: a lot of you Rubio and Cruz supporters don’t like Kasich. You want to cast your ballot for your favorite candidate out of principle, even if they don’t have a chance of winning Ohio.
If this were any other year, I’d say go for it. But this year we’re faced with the prospect of a candidate who could saddle every Republican in Ohio with his narrow-minded, bullying brand of politics.
I refuse to giving Trump the delegates he needs to hang that albatross around our necks.
Here’s the long and short of it: a vote for anyone other than John Kasich in Ohio is a vote for Trump. I hate that it’s reached that point, but it’s reality. And I hope that my fellow Rubio supporters — and Cruz folks, as well — will join me in doing whatever it takes to keep Trump from taking Ohio.
Phil Van Treuren is a city councilman in Amherst, a former winner of the Ohio Young Republican of the Year Award, and a member of the Lorain County Republican Party Executive Committee.