August 28

The Steady Rise of Governor Kasich

It seems almost like this entire race was already set up by the RNC. A presidential race has never been won without winning Ohio, and it just so happens that the purple state has a successful Republican president who is running in what could be the most important election in years. Political correspondents and political commentators have had their eyes for years on the relatively unknown Governor Kasich. For many people, the first time they saw his face was on Fox News for the Republican primary debates. But as this race is just getting started, Governor Kasich is applying the slow and steady wins the race strategy, and is gaining traction. While it is no surprise his polls are high in Ohio, others are beginning to talk about him too. His answer about gay marriage at the debate had millennials’ eyebrows raised, and his other answer about mental health and prison reform had progressives’ eyebrows raised. Kasich is not the typical Republican, as he does what is supposed to happen in a Democratic system, which is compromise. As the saying goes,”there is no school for common sense.” This same tagline could be applied to politics. Kasich applies common sense to a sea of party chaos, and for this reason, is considered by many to be the only candidate to beat Hillary Clinton.

Let’s first look at the primary race. Like in physical races, the person that starts out the fastest and the strongest many times falls off course and does not win. While Donald Trump has started out sprinting, eventually the charm will wear off as there are more debates and harder questions asked. If the charm stays, however, voters will be faced with the decision to vote for him or Hillary Clinton if she is the Democrat candidate. While the election is thought to be Democrats versus Republicans, it is in fact the Independents, the undecided voters, who make or break a politician. This is why purple states are crucial in every election, and why a state like Ohio has so much power. Trump can soar in February, but these Independents will more than likely vote blue on election day. So, here are some reasons why Kasich will be able to swing those Independent votes, and could be a serious threat to the Democrat candidate.

  1. Kasich is applying tactical campaign strategies to get support in key states, such as New Hampshire. The politician spent $5 million in order to position himself as the “antidote” in a television attack ad, targeting those who are tired of hearing about Donald Trump. You read that right, Kasich is setting himself up to be the antithesis to Trump, and is offering voters a person to put their energy into. Instead of trying to side with Trump, whose followers will not leave him, he steps away and sets up his own camp in opposition. This gives Republicans who dislike Trump a champion to cheer for.
  2.  Kasich is applying the same strategy of Trump “speaking his mind.” There are no teleprompters, no prepared speeches, no talking points included in his campaign strategy. Kasich has said over and over again that he just says whatever comes to his mind. At a time when people are tired of politics as usual, and tired of the same campaign rhetoric that sounds outdated and out of touch, Kasich is offering the same medicine as Trump, but in a non offensive or divisive way.
  3. Kasich wants “practical solutions based on conservative principles.” This means that he will not go into the Oval Office and place everyone of Obama’s new laws into the shredder. He is all for a limited federal government, but not as extreme as the Tea Party who want it basically eliminated all together. This may hurt Kasich in the primary, as he took Federal Aid through Obamacare to pay for Medicaid. Kasich also has not adopted the usual extreme immigration rhetoric, which again may hurt him in the primary. But, for those who do not know the numbers, the Latino vote is 40 million, and you can bet that not one of them will go to Trump. The bottom line is that for many, Kasich’s “common sense” approach is appealing. Undecided voters largely agree with different issues in both parties, and if Kasich can make them believe that he is the one who embodies a more middle ground approach, Clinton and other Democrat candidates will lose many of their talking points.