On Tuesday Ohio Governor John Kasich (R-OH) stood before a large crowd who had gather at the Ohio Union at Ohio State University and announced that he was throwing his hat into the ring and joining the race for the White House in 2016.
Kasich’s entry into the race made him the 16th GOP candidate to jump in, and as things stand, he will be a long shot for the nomination, but there are many reasons to think that he could be in this for the long haul.
Kasich is a popular Governor of an important swing state. In the most recent polling done in the state of Ohio Kasich had a 10 point lead on his closest Republican competitor (which makes sense since he’s the Governor of the state), but more importantly, he’s also beating Hillary Clinton soundly (by 7 points)! This is very important because Ohio has voted for the winning candidate in the last 10 Presidential elections – which is kind of a stunning track record. The GOP is desperate to win Ohio in 2016 as Pennsylvania and Virginia seem to be moving further out of their grasp. Kasich seems like the kind of candidate that could deliver the Buckeye State and possibly a presidential victory.
He also happens to be among the most experienced GOP candidates for President (along with Bobby Jindal and perhaps Jeb Bush).
Since that time, as he neared the end of an 18-year run in Congress, Kasich has honed his communication skills as a Fox News personality, padded his finance bona fides as a managing director for now-defunct Lehman Brothers, defeated an incumbent governor and been re-elected governor in a landslide by voters of the seventh-largest and most electorally crucial state.
“The breadth and depth of his experience means he can make a stellar case for a presidential bid, a much stronger case than he was able to make in 1999,” said Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chairman who was an adviser to Kasich’s 1999 campaign but is neutral now.
“What bodes better for Gov. Kasich is that he is Gov. Kasich now.”
However, all of this does not mean that Kasich is a “perfect candidate.” He’s temperamental (he’s regularly been called “a jerk” in Ohio media), and he’s not even close to the most conservative candidate in the race… in fact he’s about as “conservative” as ol’ Jeb Bush. We might even say that Kasich and Bush are two peas in a pod – the only difference is one is from Florida and the other is from Ohio.
So there’s a new face to add to your collection GOP voters. What say you – does John Kasich get your attention? Is Kasich the kind of candidate you’re looking to support?