Yesterday, I argued that Marco Rubio and John Kasich needed to step aside, and let Ted Cruz go head-to-head with Donald Trump, who’s poised to utterly destroy the Republican brand should he win the nomination. Today, I’d like to focus solely on John Kasich.
Over the course of this election cycle, we’ve been subjected to Kasich’s bromides via the debates. From humble beginnings (his father was a mailman, in case you didn’t know), to his years in the U.S. House of Representatives, to his current role as governor of Ohio, we’ve heard it all. He’s pleaded his case over and over again, and here’s what he has to show for it:
- Not a single state win. That 0 for 20.
- Just two second place finishes–Vermont and Massachusetts.
- And a grand total of 37 delegates.
Just to put Kasich’s count in perspective, he has 937% fewer delegates than Trump, 710% fewer than Cruz, and even 308% fewer than Rubio. But the delegate count–though important–is much less critical than the percentage of voters and oxygen Kasich’s taking from Ted Cruz .
Take Kentucky for example:
- Trump: 35.9%
- Cruz: 31.6%
- Rubio: 16.4%
- Kasich: 14.4%
Despite getting very few delegates from the contest, Kasich sucked up 14.4% of the anti-Trump vote from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio . Let’s crunch the numbers.
The general consensus is that those who vote for John Kasich and Marco Rubio do not like Trump, but let’s give Trump a break. Say that one third of Rubio and Kasich voters would move to the Orange Crush if their candidate dropped out, and two thirds would go to Ted Cruz . That would mean in Kentucky, Trump would have lost in a two-man contest between himself and Cruz, 52 percent to 46 percent–and that’s being generous to Trump.
Despite his meager delegate count, Kasich is pulling precious voters from Cruz on a percentage basis. While states like Kentucky are proportional, and Trump would have evenly split the state’s delegates with Cruz, when it comes to winner-take-all states, first place means everything.
John Kasich has even admitted that he’s angling for a brokered convention because he knows he can’t win with the voters.
The following exchange between Sean Hannity and John Kasich took place at CPAC:
HANNITY: “Walk the people in the audience through your path that will get you to the nomination, to 1,237 delegates.”
KASICH: “I don’t think anybody is going to get that. I’m going to win Ohio.”
HANNITY: “You think there is going to be a brokered convention?”
KASICH: “I do. I do.”
He then proceeded to talk about how a brokered convention would have to be “done fairly,” and actually uttered the following words:
“Can you think of anything cooler than a convention, where we’re all gonna learn about how America works?”
Allow me to translate: Although I have absolutely no chance of winning with the voters, I know I can lobby support from Republican leadership in the case of a brokered convention because I’m their last best establishment hope.
I’m guessing Kasich realizes the danger of a Trump nomination as much as Cruz and Rubio do, and that’s why he’s staying in the race. He wants to get to a brokered convention, where he knows the leadership would never choose Trump. He’s acting as a spoiler, which would be a somewhat noble thing to do if he weren’t just in it for himself. Yes, he’s in it for himself. He knows he would be the pick of the litter at a brokered convention, as the elites despise Cruz, and Rubio has proven very unreliable.
My question for John Kasich is this: Do you really believe you can win the general after being coronated via a brokered convention?
I cannot imagine a world in which Trump supporters vote for John Kasich after the powers that be gather in a room to personally select a candidate, essentially nullifying millions of votes. By pushing for such an outcome, Kasich is handing Hillary Clinton the keys to the White House.
John Kasich has to know that Ted Cruz is the only viable non-Trump candidate. Cruz has proven that by winning multiple states by massive margins, and taking very competitive second place spots almost everywhere else.
Given this, Kasich’s reasoning has to be based in ego. He presumably dislikes Cruz, and thinks Rubio’s a failed candidate, seeing himself as the singular convention darling. However, he cannot be blind to the fact that a brokered convention scenario would result in anything less than a voter revolt unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Perhaps he is blind to it.
John Kasich, if you want to defeat Hillary in November, you need to drop out of the race immediately. I can’t stress that enough. You cannot win on votes alone, and a brokered convention at which you are chosen would result in a high volume of voters sitting out because they’d perceive it as extremely unfair.
Put your ego away, and let the only plausible anti-Trump candidate take the reins. If you can’t do that, practice saying the words “Madam President,” because in ten months, Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.