Kasich ponders another presidential run
ohn Kasich is going back to New Hampshire this week as the timetable shortens on when he must decide whether he’s going to do more than just talk the talk about running for president.
The lame- duck Ohio governor will be the featured speaker Thursday at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications 16th annual First Amendment Awards in Manchester.
Neither Kasich nor his political adviser, John Weaver, would talk about the trip to the state that traditionally holds the first presidential primary — only around 15 months away. But the Concord Monitor says Kasich will conduct media interviews and hold a series of meetings with 2016 supporters and other New Hampshire Republicans in the hours leading up to the awards dinner.
Kasich was mentioned as a possible candidate Friday in an interview with Politico and The Hill by outgoing Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, another antagonist of President Donald Trump who also could run. Flake said Kasich appears to be building an organization to challenge Trump.
Kasich can take comfort in the continued orneriness of New Hampshire voters.
A poll by AP VoteCast released last week showed that 60 percent of them disapprove of how Trump is handling his job.
And the Ohio governor also has a friend in New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, for whom he campaigned.
Kasich, who departs office in mid- January, finished a clear but distant second to Trump in the state’s February 2016 GOP primary.
That optimistic start was quickly crushed not only in Southern states but in places like Michigan, where he campaigned heavily but finished third.
Even Kasich’s’ most ardent supporters have difficulty seeing how he gets by Trump, a sitting president who will be staunchly defended by GOP organizations in most states.
So perhaps Kasich’s best hope is a “what if,” as in what if Trump is mortally wounded by Robert Mueller’s probe or some other event not foreseen now?
However, even under that scenario, would a Trump critic like Kasich be viewed as the first alternative?
Then there is talk of a Kasich run as an independent. Experts unanimously express skepticism — the logistics of qualifying for the various state ballots alone is daunting — that such an option is realistic despite the disgust expressed by the public with both majority parties.
Plus there’s that little factor called money, a shortcoming Kasich couldn’t overcome in 2016.
To sum up: Kasich seemingly needs both Trump and his brand to topple far enough that an old- line, Trump- bashing conservative becomes appealing enough to attract both money and votes.
Cordray gets more votes than Kasich, Taft
Democrat Richard Cordray rang up the fifthhighest number of votes ever cast for Ohio governor in Tuesday’s election.
But it’s no consolation since Republican Mike DeWine attracted the third- largest number of votes in state history in an election that attracted 4.4 million Ohioans — the highest- ever number of midterm voters.
DeWine recorded 2.187 million votes to Cordray’s 2.005 million ( before provisional ballots and late- arriving mail ballots are counted), reporter Randy Ludlow found — with an assist from Mike Dawson’s ohioelectionresults. com.
Democrat Ted Strickland totaled the highest number in 2006 ( 2.435 million) in swamping Republican J. Kenneth Blackwell. Republican George V. Voinovich ranks second ( 2.401 million) with his 1994 demolition of Democrat Rob Burch.
Democrat Frank Lausche is No. 4 ( 2.015 million) with his 1952 win over Republican Charles Taft.
Percentage- wise, DeWine’s 50.7 percent share of the vote in his 4.3 percentage point win doesn’t rate. It was only the 39th- highest winning percentage recorded in Ohio gubernatorial elections.
Cordray, by the way, totaled more votes than Kasich did in either of his two winning campaigns: 1.889 million in 2010 over Strickland and 1.944 million in his 2014 romp over Democrat Ed FitzGerald. And Cordray also received more than Gov. Bob Taft in his pair of campaigns, too.