Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Why John Kasich isn't dropping out

It's time for a John Kasich reality check: The Ohio governor is clinging to dwindling hopes that he can win this year's Republican presidential nomination.

The problem in part is his struggle to overtake Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the establishment lane. But it's also how hard it will be for any other GOP candidate to overtake billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, winner of the last three contests.

Trump has jumped out to a massive lead in the delegate chase. After his romp Tuesday night at the Nevada caucuses, he has more than four times as many delegates as Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, his closest competitors. Kasich is even farther behind.

Elite Republicans who worry that Trump's unpredictable antics will cost them the general election harbor dreams of some sort of Rubio-Kasich alliance, with most of the speculation focused on Kasich bowing out gracefully. But neither is budging.

Whether you think Kasich should stay or go, here's what you should know.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Jai Chabria, longtime adviser to Gov. John Kasich, to leave administration for Ohio GOP job

Jai Chabria, who for years has wielded considerable influence in John Kasich's political orbit, has given up his post as a senior adviser to the Ohio governor.

In an interview Monday, Chabria said he will pursue other opportunities, including a role as the Ohio Republican Party's point-man for the GOP convention this summer in Cleveland.

His exit comes in the midst of Kasich's presidential campaign, which Chabria helped launch. But as others in top state government positions left to work for the Republican's White House bid, Chabria stayed behind as the Kasich administration's chief enforcer in Columbus.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

John Kasich outlasts Jeb Bush: Takeaways from the South Carolina primary

John Kasich was never going to win the South Carolina primary.

But by downplaying his need for a strong finish there – and by arguing that Jeb Bush couldn't afford a poor one – the Ohio governor and his advisers won the expectations game.

There was a sense leading up to Saturday night's results that Bush, the former Florida governor, would be the next Republican to drop out of the presidential race. Kasich's chief strategist, John Weaver, encouraged that speculation in a morning conference call with reporters.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

John Kasich looks for a Michigan miracle

LIVONIA, Mich. – Welcome to New Hampshire on steroids.

Everything is bigger here for John Kasich. The map. The crowds. The pandering.

"Let's talk for a second about Tom Izzo," the Ohio governor and Republican presidential hopeful digressed Tuesday during a town hall-style forum in this Detroit suburb.

Kasich, a graduate of rival Ohio State University, began gushing about the Michigan State University basketball coach's "magic." With a mischievous grin, he wondered if his alma mater might be able to steal Izzo. Catching himself, he quickly added: "Don't tell anybody!"

Eventually, Kasich got to the point he was trying to make.

"Izzo," he said, "gets his players to always play at a higher level. You don't read about problems coming out of that program. He has high expectations and high demands – and they meet it."
Kasich has high expectations of his own in Michigan.

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More: Kasich's South Carolina and Super Tuesday survival plan

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

5 reasons why John Kasich's New Hampshire showing wasn't a surprise

Few gave John Kasich a chance.

Even as the Ohio governor outworked most – if not all – of his Republican presidential rivals in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and often even Carly Fiorina commanded more attention. He beat all Tuesday in the nation’s first primary.

The Washington Post called Kasich’s rise “as quiet as [Donald] Trump’s was loud.” Trump’s landslide victory was expected here. Kasich’s second-place finish, which should establish him as an upper-tier candidate, struck many by surprise.

It shouldn’t have.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kasich gets the big New Hampshire story he needed. Is the 'prince of light and hope' here to stay?

CONCORD, N.H. – Ohio Gov. John Kasich needed to be the big story coming out of the New Hampshire primary.

He did his part Tuesday by winning the race that mattered most – the race for second place in a large and muddled Republican presidential field.

The strong showing elevates Kasich as a top alternative to Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul whose angry rhetoric frightens the party's establishment.

Trump won New Hampshire decisively, recovering from his collapse last week in the Iowa caucuses. But Kasich beat everyone else, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whose third-place finish in Iowa rocketed him to the front of the establishment lane.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

John Kasich puts his Happy Warrior message to the test in Republican debate

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. – First the good news for John Kasich. Ohio's governor used the last Republican presidential debate before the pivotal New Hampshire primary to reinforce his experience, his compassion, and his role as the race's Happy Warrior.

And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who could be on the verge of consolidating the GOP establishment around his candidacy, was at his sound bite-happy worst.

Now the potentially bad news for Kasich.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who like Kasich need a strong finish Tuesday, turned in solid performances, too. Bush's renewed confidence and willingness to take on front-runner Donald Trump and Christie's nothing-left-to-lose whacks on Rubio were equally memorable Saturday night at St. Anselm College.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rand Paul drops out, and the Republican presidential race loses a unique voice

Rand Paul is the latest odd man out in a Republican presidential race that has rewarded loud voices.

In some respects that's a shame. Paul's was a quiet but unique voice – and not simply because of his libertarian-leaning views.

The Kentucky senator set out to expand the base that his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, built from his own White House bids in 2008 and 2012.

It didn't work. He suspended his campaign Wednesday.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

With Marco Rubio on the rise, what's John Kasich's path in New Hampshire?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to be "a story" coming out of next week's New Hampshire primary. What that means, he and his advisers won't say.

But consider the results from Monday's Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa.

Ted Cruz is a story. Not only did he win, he took down Donald Trump. The Texas senator is emerging as the best hope for anti-establishment conservatives.

Marco Rubio is a story, too. He nearly beat Trump. More than that, he beat expectations. He heads to New Hampshire with momentum and a conventional wisdom that now pegs him as the mainstream candidate most likely to succeed.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Donald Trump is a paper tiger -- and 5 other lessons the Iowa caucuses taught us

The joke was on us.

Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul, has behaved like no other presidential candidate we've seen. He belittled Sen. John McCain, prisoner of war, for being captured. He mocked a reporter's disability. He called for a ban on Muslim immigrants.

Through it all, he was the closest thing Republicans had to a presidential front-runner.

The polls said so. Trump said so. Even some of Trump's rivals, who seemed resigned to a fight for second place in next week's New Hampshire primary, said so.

But at some point, something had to give, right? Tonight, in Iowa, it did.

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