Kasich’s Chances? As Good as Anybody’s


Conservative political pundits are weighing in on John Kasich’s chances in the heavy-traffic race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Written by Chad Groening

With Tuesday’s announcement at The Ohio State University, Governor Kasich becomes the 16th and perhaps final Republican to officially enter the 2016 presidential sweepstakes. He enters the race with an impressive resume – a successful governor handily elected to a second term, and a former congressman who worked on foreign policy matters. But a number of analysts believe the Ohio governor waited too long, as he is only polling at 1.5 percent in a RealClearPolitics average of GOP presidential polls.

Tom Pauken, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, believes Kasich will have to beat Jeb Bush in New Hampshire if he hopes to secure his party’s nomination. Pauken thinks he knows why Kasich waited so long.

“My guess is – and it’s only a guess – that he wanted to see how Jeb Bush did early,” he tells OneNewNow. “And if Jeb Bush did well and looked like he had garnered overwhelming support, then he probably wouldn’t have gotten in the race. But Jeb Bush is not doing as well as people expected, so I think Kasich believes he has a shot at the nomination.”

Kasich, who Pauken describes as “a very articulate guy,” has to win that first important primary. “He’s got to come in and upset the apple cart in New Hampshire, in my estimation,” the Texas Republican continues. “He needs to be able to get into these debates … and he needs to beat Bush in New Hampshire. And then he becomes an alternative candidate who can, if you will, bridge the gap between the conservatives and the moderates.”

While Pauken believes Kasich should do well in New Hampshire, he isn’t sure he will in Iowa with such a short window of opportunity.

‘Don’t count him out’

An Ohio-based political pundit says with the importance of the Buckeye State in presidential elections, Kasich – despite his low poll numbers and difficulty raising money – cannot be counted out.

“One of things I don’t do is get in and make premature decisions about people’s capabilities,” says Ken Blackwell, a former mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio state treasurer, and Ohio secretary of state. “At the end of the day, if he can raise the money and he’s in a crucial state, he’ll be in for at least a little while. And if he catches on during the early primaries, given the importance of Ohio he’ll be in it until a nominee is decided.”

Blackwell acknowledges the talent is deep among those seeking the GOP nomination, and he sees the competition as “very fluid” at this point with no one having established themselves as a clear favorite at this point.

“I really don’t think anybody is going to be able to call this in July, August, September, October,” he adds. “I think when we get closer to November … the field will naturally thin out and we will have had the opportunity to see a lot of these folks in action.”

The Iowa caucus – the first real “voter” test for the candidates – is slated for February 1. The New Hampshire primary follows next on February 9, then South Carolina on February 20. Most political observers see those first three events in the primary schedule as crucial in determining whose campaigns gain enough steam to continue onto “Super Tuesday” (March 1), when a dozen states hold their primaries or caucuses.

This article was originally posted at the OneNewsNow.com website.