Could John Kasich Lead a Successful Third Party Challenge?

Since John Kasich dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, he has been at odds with his party over direction and support for Donald Trump.  Now he is signaling a move to a possible third party run for president in 2020.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Kasich told Whoopi Goldberg on The Political View program that he believes he could win a primary in New Hampshire but not do well in Southern states where Trump is strong.

Despite being quite religious himself, Kasich never really caught on with evangelical voters during the Republican primaries. He was widely viewed as a moderate, a perception which might now help him in a deeply divided nation. At least that’s one way to look at it.

I like Kasich and supported him in the primaries. I would support him as an independent but I don’t know if there are enough voters who would be willing to take the risk on a third party. Even though I think he is a good mix of principle and pragmatism, he was not able to inspire widespread support in 2016. It remains to be seen if the conditions are right for him now.

Image: From Johnkasich.com

 

PA Primary News: Donald Trump's PA Delegates Disclosed #NeverTrump

In Pennsylvania tomorrow, GOP voters will be confronted with a choice of John Kasich, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson. They also will be asked to vote for delegates to the GOP convention in Cleveland.  The ballot doesn’t spell out which candidate each delegate has committed to vote for at the convention. Some will remain uncommitted and others might be persuaded to switch, making PA delegates very popular between now and the GOP convention.
Political website PoliticsPA published a list of delegates who are pledged to Donald Trump. For those #nevertrump PA readers, this could be a handy help going into tomorrow.
Review the list.
Trump has 41 delegates in 15 districts committed to him.
According Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Donald Neuhaus has pledged for Trump in the 14th District. He also has a handy list. One wonders where he got it.
Here is something more official from the Trump campaign.
PA for Trump

Politifact's Rating of GOP Candidates – John Kasich Is Most Accurate

Everybody makes mistakes. I certainly don’t expect presidential candidates to be flawless in their public statements. They speak constantly and answer questions on a broad spectrum of topics. They will misspeak.
On the other hand, a consistent record of incorrect claims implies either lack of care for truth or an unacceptable ignorance when it comes to important issues. Motives are hard to discern but fact checking can get us closer to the truth.
The folks at Politifact compiled a report card for the GOP candidates which I summarize here. John Kasich leads the way with over half of his claims (53%) being rated as true or mostly true. Cruz is a distant second with 22% being rated as true or mostly true. Trump is far behind with only 8% of his claims rated as mostly true or true. See the images below for the full report.
John Kasich
Kasich Politifact
Ted Cruz
Cruz Politifact
Donald Trump
Trump Politifact
If Trump gets the nomination, the GOP will reject the candidate who is the most factual, best liked, and most likely to beat Hillary in favor of the one who is the least factual, least liked, and least likely to defeat Hillary in November.
Brilliant.
 
 

I'm a Republican and I Need a Mechanic. Who Should I Choose?

Let’s play I’m a Republican and I need a…

This won't be cheap...
This won’t be cheap…

I’m a Republican and I need my car fixed. I could go to a guy who isn’t a mechanic but says he can fix anything, a guy who says he’s a mechanic but hasn’t fixed anything, or a guy who has been a successful mechanic for over 25 years.
Who should I pick?
Lately, I think most Republicans would pick the overly confident non-mechanic or the guy who is a mechanic but hasn’t fixed many, if any, cars.
Or I’m a Republican and I need major surgery. I could select a guy who isn’t a surgeon but says he can cure anything, a guy who says he’s a surgeon but once closed down the operating room, or a surgeon who has been doing surgery well for over 25 years.
Who should I pick?
Lots of Republicans are saying we don’t like the mechanics and surgeons we have now. GOP voters are turning to those who have little or no experience, instead of finding a well qualified and experienced mechanic or surgeon. They seem to be willing to roll the dice with someone who unrealistically thinks he can fix anything (Trump) or someone who hasn’t fixed anything much (Cruz)  instead of the person who has a record of fixing things (Kasich). This doesn’t seem like a strategy for long term success.

World Magazine Examines John Kasich's Chances for a GOP Convention Upset

I appreciate World for taking a serious look at John Kasich’s chances for a GOP convention upset.
In one article earlier this week, political scholar Henry Olsen told Marvin Olasky there is a pathway for Gov. Kasich to the nomination.
In a second article by J.C. Derrick, the possibility of a Kasich-Cruz partnership is examined. While I really want to see Trumped stopped, I can’t see Kasich or Cruz going for it. Kasich is dead set against deporting 12 million illegal immigrants and Cruz wants to do that and never let them back in — women and children and all. Kasich understands the humanitarian disaster that would be. Cruz seems oblivious to these concerns.
Cruz polls poorly against Hillary Clinton while Kasich beats her handily. Adding Cruz to Kasich may take away that edge. Kasich has been saying lately that the GOP has had 10 contested conventions and in seven of them the candidate with the most votes going in didn’t get the nomination.  Kasich hopes for lightening to strike again this year.

If Trump is Responsible for His Rallies, Then Shouldn't Cruz Be Responsible for His Advisors?

Donald Trump has taken righteous heat for the violence at his rallies. Telling his violent supporters that he will pay their legal bills is outrageous. Predicting riots if he isn’t nominated is likely to be taken as a coded message by his supporters. Trump tells his crowds that protesters are bad people and get what they deserve. He does bear some responsibility for his rallies and the general decline in discourse during the 2016 campaign. Some evangelical leaders are pretty upset about it (see the video of Al Mohler and John MacArthur below).
Earlier today a reader sent a link to Steve Deace’s public Facebook page where he carries on the low level of discourse. Given Ted Cruz’s embrace and praise of Deace and Deace’s representation of Cruz, does Cruz have any responsibility to disavow comments like this? Just one will illustrate:
Deace Buttermilk
It was Cruz’s surrogate Glenn Beck who called John Kasich “delusional” and a “son of a bitch” recently because Kasich wouldn’t bow out of the race with not a peep from Cruz.*
My point is not that name calling and crude humor doesn’t happen in politics or any other domain as far as that goes (cue Mark Driscoll’s William Wallace III). However, if blame is going to be assigned for the crude rhetoric in the campaign, then let’s cast a wider net. Furthermore, I can understand the passions which give rise to these outbursts. For myself, I am beyond angry at the choices in front of me and specifically worried that my party might actually nominate someone who wants to commit the nation to mass deportation of 12 million illegal immigrants. However, if I ever resort to sexual innuendo and crass name calling, please readers call me out on it.
Mohler and MacArthur on the campaign.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4UnERAWW60[/youtube]
I want to hasten to add that my objection to Trump and Cruz isn’t primarily a moralistic one. I do object to the gutter politics and rhetoric but the larger problem is their approach to the presidency and policies. They promise things that are never going to happen and act as if we don’t have a legislative branch. I am not sure their followers understand how a bill becomes law. Trump seems like he can wave a wand and it will happen and Cruz has not displayed the skills for compromise, and in fact seems to hold such skills in disdain.
 
*Although not the subject of this post, I also think Cruz has responsibility to correct the errors of those who speak on his behalf at his rallies such as Glenn Beck. Beck’s misrepresentation of history in his stories about George Washington should have resulted in a public acknowledgement and apology from Beck and Cruz.  Beck stopped telling that particular false story only after Huffington Post called him out.

Is John Kasich Now the Anti-Establishment Candidate?

Today Jeb Bush endorsed Ted Cruz. No doubt he did it in a misguided effort to stop Trump. However, if one believes the polls, GOP leaders have picked the wrong candidate to win in November.
John Kasich consistently beats Clinton in the polls, including the most recent three polls.
kasichpolls2
On average, Kasich leads Clinton by over 5 points. Cruz on the other hand consistently loses to Clinton in a head to head match up.
cruzvclinton2
Now that the establishment is moving toward Cruz, Kasich has become the anti-establishment candidate. I plan to vote for him in the PA primary and hope he stays in the race despite the calls from his opponents to exit. Cruz and Trump are equally flawed candidates and Kasich should stay in to make that clear.
Given their lateness, the endorsements aren’t coming to Cruz because he is a great option. The fear is that Trump will get enough delegates to win. However, if Cruz enters the convention with a large number of delegates and prime endorsements, he will have legitimate reason to claim he can unite the party. To me, it seems unlikely he could ever do it.
Kasich, on the other hand, is conservative enough to appeal to all but the fringe (who now like Cruz) but, as the polls show, can attract enough independents and democrats to win. Some large delegate rich states are out there. If the GOP leaders were principled and smart, they would unite behind Kasich and help him win enough delegates to make sure Trump doesn’t win. By backing Cruz, they may also get to a second ballot at the convention but with an emboldened Cruz who will be a hard sell to the American people.
For me, Cruz is not only unelectable, he is unacceptable. His position on immigration, his unrealistic promises, his lack of experience, and his shady advisors make him a non-starter. If Cruz or Trump are nominated by the GOP, this Republican will vote third party or write someone in come November.

Ted Cruz Surrogate Glenn Beck Says John Kasich is Delusional and a Son of a Bitch

ted cruz
source: tedcruz.org

Ted Cruz likes to say that he doesn’t get down in the gutter and engage in name calling with his political opponents. Although Cruz has had his moments, he apparently is content to let his surrogates speak evil of opponents. Glenn Beck has opened numerous rallies for Cruz with lengthy speeches to warm up the crowd and spoken on behalf of Beck on news programs. Cruz has had much good to say about his front man Beck.
Today on his talk show, Beck said that John Kasich was delusional for thinking he could surge in the remaining primaries adding that Kasich was a “son of a bitch” because “the republic is at stake.”  Watch (from Right Wing Watch):
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZb-C39U0BE[/youtube]
Cruz has never apologized to his Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada audiences for the deceptive talks delivered by Glenn Beck on the subject of George Washington. Beck misled thousands with his copy of Don Quixote by telling them that the book was the same copy George Washington purchased on the day Washington signed the Constitution. He also misrepresented George Washington’s diary entry for September 17, 1787, the day he signed the Constitution. I can only assume Cruz doesn’t care what Beck says.

Polls: Kasich v. Clinton is Best Shot for GOP in November Election

En masse, Republican primary voters may not be acting in the best interest of the party’s chances in the November election. Real Clear Politics tracks all kinds of polls, including how each GOP candidate does against the likely Dem nominee Hillary Clinton. John Kasich consistently polls higher than the other three candidates despite being fourth place in the current delegate count. Even though he has amassed the most votes, Donald Trump consistently loses to Clinton in a head to head match up.
GOPvClinton
So when Donald Trump says Clinton doesn’t want to face him, I think he is overconfident. In current polling among Republicans, Trump leads, followed by Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. However, the same polls show Trump losing to Clinton with Kasich showing the largest winning margin over Clinton followed by Rubio, and Cruz.
If you check the polls back into 2015, all GOP candidates consistently lost to Clinton in most polls conducted in 2015. However, Kasich, Rubio, and Cruz have risen to a winning position in 2016. In other words, they have closed the gap, with Kasich showing a larger margin of victory on average than Rubio and Cruz. Trump on the other hand has only won 5 out of 47 polls against Clinton and has consistently trailed her up to and including the most recent polling. For the full analysis, see the Real Clear Politics pages for each candidate:
Kasich v. Clinton
Rubio v. Clinton
Cruz v. Clinton
Trump v. Clinton
 

Boston Globe Endorses John Kasich in New Hampshire Primary

Newport-Town-Hall-11-458x234
From John Kasich’s campaign website

Calling a vote for John Kasich a blow to “divisive demagogic candidates,” the Boston Globe endorsed Kasich in the New Hampshire primary on Feb 9. The Globe calls Kasich a moderate conservative and touts him as a candidate who can get results.
He has shown independence as Ohio governor and is a fiscal conservative.
Whether it is Kasich or Rubio or Bush, I do hope someone other than Trump or Cruz makes a strong showing in NH.