John Kasich Is Emerging as a Top Tier Candidate

Politico: “The Ohio governor, the last heavyweight to jump into the 17-candidate pool, barely squeaked onto the debate stage, registering a just-good-enough 4 percent. He wasn’t exactly an electrifying presence Thursday but he was steady, folksy and spoke with the authority of someone who is in office at the helm of a battleground state. During a debate that featured near unanimity on most major issues, he was the one candidate to truly differentiate himself, saying that he respected the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, a position that puts him in line with the party’s younger voters and the population at large.”

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  • cbbruuno

    Start polling better than Al Haig before making these kind of pronouncements please

    • Statetheobvious

      I think it’s interesting.

      The GOP has made its position clear. They want Kasich to be the face of the GOP. The same slash and burn, Gilded Age, screw the poor economic policies of Romney, and the “pretend to be John Wayne” foreign policy of W, but in a friendly, unthreatening package the media dumdums will call “moderate”. He doesn’t antagonize minorities, women, or gays.

      Sign the Democrats are winning on a few social issues while the GOP slams everything else. The party’s decided that what it needs is a nice friendly image on the usual garbage. Shades of W. trying to make “compassionate conservative” happen.

  • hipsteriac

    “…a position that puts him in line with the party’s younger voters and the population at large.”

    Unfortunately for Kasich the party doesn’t have any younger voters and the population at large doesn’t vote in the primary. Also, the Republican base (especially in the South) considers same-sex marriage a sure sign of the end of the world.

    • vicupstate

      Exactly, if this debate wasn’t in his home state, he would have been roundly booed on at least two occassions, his Gay marriage remarks and the Medicare remarks.


    Right on cue, Politico is breathless to announce Kasich’s ascendancy amidst a crowd of clowns because he said something ‘humane’ about gay people.

    Not a dry eye in the house, right?

    Fuck that. This guy is Huckabee times ten in private. A religious zealot and faith-based charlatan. He may be clever enough to commit the same kind of moral fraud Bush did with his ‘compassionate conservatism.’

    • How is he worse than Huckabee? Is there any evidence for it, or is he so private about it that it’s hard to come by?

  • EconProf

    Now that Walker is looking too much of a lightweight, Kasich’s gravitas looks more attractive to pundits, party elders, and perhaps even the Kochs. He and Jeb were the non-crazy large state governors while still governing without any moderate policies! That’s why they so clearly were on display as the only adults in the room. The problem for Kasich is that Jeb is more appealing to GOP on every issue (except immigration) in a one-on-one face off. And Jeb has the cash, name recognition, and support from party elders. Thus, Kasich is only a factor if Bush self-destructs. Nevertheless, Kasich can pick up Walker’s support, especially in the Midwest. Only if the Koch’s shift to Kasich from Walker would there be a game change.

    • nowaRINO

      The Kochs hate Kasich. He has not been invited to even clean the toilets at ‘The Gatherings’…even when Americans for Prosperity meets in his hometown of Columbus.

    • embo66

      The Kochs are NOT going to go for Kasich. He’s too much his own man; they want an empty suit like Walker to push around.

  • APV

    Kasich made the best of the hand that he had and tried to stay above the fray. .

    If the media thinks he is the winner, the party base may think otherwise. Jeb & other establishment candidates will need to lose support before Kasich is anointed as a top-tier candidate, even though he has a strong resume and record. I still think he is going to be the VP nominee. He is too sane to be nominated, and may lack the killer instincts & win-at-all-cost mentality of the likes of Jeb Bush.

    • ralph_wiggam

      After jebs pitiful performance last night, Kasich just may pick up a sizable chunk of his supporters. But I don’t think he will ever make it above 15%, there just aren’t enough moderate Republicans left and he doesn’t have the resources to buy the rest.

    • oldhandatthis

      Kasich gave a strong performance and may manage to move up a bit from the number 10 slot. I agree he needs Bush to self destruct before he can even make an attempt to climb to up to the top tier of candidates.

      While Kasich would make an excellent VP pick on paper, I’m not sure he has the temperament for the job.

    • embo66

      I agree with all you said except that last part about Bush. Killer instincts?! I keep getting the distinct feeling Bush’s heart — much less his head — isn’t really in this at all.

      • APV

        I was talking about the Bushes in general. They went mercilessly after Dole in 1988 and after McCain in 2000.

  • RadicalCentrist

    He “distinguished” himself by saying he respects the Supreme Court’s decision? I’m pretty sure that there is nothing any President could do that could change such a decision anyway (I’m lookin’ at you Huckabee). That’s a pretty low bar. I watched only parts of the thing, since torture is banned by the Geneva Convention (I’m lookin’ at you Carson), but did he say anything else astounding?

    • the distinction is ever choosing sanity over ideology

    • embo66

      Astounding to the average person? No. “Astounding” to a stadium full of conservatives who generally get their news from FOX? Probably. He defended expanding Medicaid because too many people need help affording healthcare; he ballyhooed releasing mental patients from prison in order to give them treatment instead.

      On the surface, Kasich looks like the most “sane” GOP candidate this cycle (even though he’s VERY conservative on social issues, law and order, government spending, you name it). So the press — ever superficial — will likely start to publicly love him, but it’s hard to know where that really goes. Just the other day there was a discussion here about how the media’s “pick” is the kiss of death for that candidate!

  • rssrai

    Kasich won the debate, to lose the debate too. He was great, but too moderate to be the nominee. The republican base is looking for fire and brimstone, taking it to the man. Trump is the no apology candidate in the race, and I suspect will still lead after last night. Rubio might have disqualified himself tonight by saying Hillary had the best resume of all the candidates. That was a no no. Bush lost big time, and so did Walker. Both were terrible debaters. Huckabee and Cruz will move up some. I thought Carson was a loser, but some republicans thought he was ok. Christie was a bully, and Rand Paul tried to go back to his roots.

  • S1AMER

    If I see one more account by the national pundit class describing Kasich as a “moderate,” I shall emit a screen that just might be audible coast to coast.

  • Buford2k11

    the “fix” was in for Kasich a long time ago…He is someone’s choice, can’t quite figure out whom it/they are…but there is no way Kasich did this without some dark money help…

  • frankelee

    Politico articles remind me: Politico is just the worst.

  • fox cooked the books to squeak him in

    • FOX is as strait as they come, there is a groundswell for Kasich , you must of been napping. Cause FOX would never distort facts, ever!!!!

    • Korgul

      Exactly. The only reason the FNC/RNC cabal threw out the poll that would have put Perry up there instead of Kasich, is that come November 2016 they’re going to need Kasich (and his Attorney General) to flip some Ohio votes to “R”. He’d be less inclined to help “massage” the numbers if they had snubbed him last night.

      • never go full tinfoil

        • Korgul

          When we’re trying to figure out who won because Ohio’s still up in the air, remember I told you so.

          • I will. I’ll also think of you if the aliens invade.

          • Korgul

            Never go full asshole.

          • never go full parrot?

          • Korgul

            Please tell me who I am parroting.

          • never bring a knife to a gunfight

          • Korgul

            Answer the question.

      • Gumby

        Only one poll of the last ten had Perry in the top ten instead of Kasich. There was no possible way to average the polls that didn’t have Kasich in over Perry.

        • Korgul

          FNC threw out the NBC poll that put the two at closer to a tie, violating their own rule of using the five latest polls.

          • Gumby

            They threw it out because Kasich wasn’t actually listed as a candidate in NBC’s poll. Kasich responses were only if someone freely gave it outside the listed candidates. And even if that poll were included, Kasich was still top 10.

          • Korgul

            Just found Andrew Prokop’s article about this on Vox. Thank you for the correction.

  • littlejohn

    I actually liked the positions articulated by Kasich last night, but many of my conservative Christian friends did not. To them, he sounded like a Democrat and many said there is no way they could support him. If this is true across the spectrum Kasich is done for. Remember that Kasich has to get past the tea party first.

  • CedTruz

    Kasich’s positions are pretty much the positions of most conservatives, he’s just not such an asshole about it. I will give him this, he does at least acknowledge there are poor people.

    • takers not makers

      • one of them even came in here with that same warmed-over echo chamber buncombe about takers!

    • embo66

      Well, let’s remember what counts as a “moderate” in today’s Republican Party: It is somebody who has — gasp! — actually compromised with a strong group of Democrats. And usually only because it became politically necessary.

      That’s it.

      And yet no one — including our sorry excuse for a press these days — will bother to really delve into Kasich’s true history or positions. At least not at this early stage of the game. They’re having too much fun anointing him as the next “moderate” to challenge Bush, etc.

    • Unsphexish

      You’re humanizing them, calling them poor people. You need to call them “poors” or “takers” or “the lazy” or similar in order to properly objectify them so they can be more easily dismissed.

  • jeff s

    By whom? Certainly not the voters. At least not yet.

  • Inkan1969

    Is he really? His poll numbers are still low. It sounds more to me like Kasich is being deliberately manufactured by the media to be a breakout candidate, giving him more attention then he merits. But that is also conflicting with the media’s continuing obsession with Trump.

  • David Bluefeather

    Politico, #LOL

  • yadayadaaa

    I said it 2 weeks ago.
    Folksy and talks with authority. Especially on national security.
    Fearful people buy that and midwesterners love it.
    I think he blew out Rubio as VP.
    Or he gets the nomination away from Bush.

  • I don’t see Kasich getting my traction with the base unless Jeb! totally implodes. Not just slowly crumbles, but actually totally implodes. The establishment would have to see Jeb!’s campaign as totally unsalvageable before they turn to someone like Kasich, and he’d have to rise up high enough in the polls to knock out a few other intermediate candidates the establishment might turn to. But if that happens, I see him as a potential threat. Some of my gay friends who tend to veer Republican on other issues have, in the past, either voted for the Democrat because the GOP is so awful, or have lied to themselves to justify voting for a Republican. (“Romney’s just saying that anti-gay stuff to get the nomination. He’ll be much better on gay issues once he’s in office.”) They’ll already have an easier time justifying voting GOP in 2016 (“The Supreme Court has already decided. It doesn’t matter what the President thinks about gay issues anymore.”) With Kasich, they’ll have a much easier time rationalizing that dissonance.

  • terjeanderson

    Perhaps it is just me, but one of the things that I think Kasich needs to work on is his posture.

    When I see him standing on the stage, he looks as though he is the only candidate slightly slumped over, shoulders and head forward and slightly down, back curved slightly. It seems seems in contrast to the other candidates who all were standing up ramrod straight.

    It – coupled with his speaking style – doesn’t seem to present the kind of confident image that US Presidents and candidates usually try to project. Instead it seems slightly unsure, slightly embarrassed, tentative, and uncomfortable in his own skin.

    (AFAIK, there isn’t an injury or medical condition causing it… but if one explains it that might make it uncorrectable.)

    While I don’t think it is a disqualifying factor in a Presidential candidate, things like that do play a subtle role in how voters perceive candidates, and can shape the way his candidacy is received.

    • Zornorph

      Yeah, the Kasich slouch is definitely a thing.

      • terjeanderson

        He needs to work on it.

  • Dem2016

    The republican establishment wants an Ohioan and a Floridian as their ticket and that’s what they’ll have. They always get what they want. Hillary will probably yield OH and FL and work to win VA, NV and CO to replace them

  • Egan Foote

    It’s funny that Politico and the rest of the pundit class continue to make these sorts of baseless gut-feeling pronouncements even in light of how wrong they have been about the GOP race and electorate. Polling be damned, it “feels” like Kasich is “emerging as a top tier candidate”.