As of Sunday March 13, 2016, There are 1,368 delegates left to be won in the Republican presidential primaries. It takes 1,237 delegates to lock up the party’s nomination. Ohio Governor John Kasich has currently won 63 delegates, leaving him needing 1,174 more delegates to win the nomination. Now, 17 of the 30 states/territories remaining in the primary election season have winner-take-all delegate election systems, meaning candidates who win those states take all of the delegates from that state. Those 17 winner-take-all states comprise 901 of the delegates remaining. So basically, in order for John Kasich to win the nomination pre-Convention, he would need to win every single winner-take-all state and then on top of that dominate in the states with proportional delegate election systems. In other words, there’s a 0% chance John Kasich wins the nomination before the National Convention. Actually, given just how low Kasich is in the polls, it can be stated with 100% surety that Kasich will not even be able to take the lead either. Marco Rubio is on the verge of being in both of these categories too.
Yet, Kasich claimed as late as February 28th that if he wins Ohio he’s “off to the races.” Then last Friday, March 11th at an MSNBC town hall, he claimed that he can “absolutely win enough and go into the convention with the greatest number of delegates,” and reaffirmed, “That absolutely can happen.” Um, no Governor Kasich, no it can’t and you are not serving the American people well by telling them it can.
So Kasich is basically hoping for a contested convention in which the delegates become free agents and can vote for whomever they like. That process includes private lobbying and wooing on the part of the candidates toward the delegates, a system that is far from the democratic ideal. (By the way, the last three times there has been a contested convention, the emerging candidate has lost the general election). The reason Kasich is still in the race, is to keep his name relevant in the case of an open convention and to sabotage Trump by taking Ohio. Now, one could understand this being a legitimate recourse among competitive candidates (which is why this blog has not yet turned to ripping Rubio for staying in). However, Kasich is not a competitive candidate. It’s silly really, Kasich has yet to even win a single state or territory. He is simply hedging his bets on the belief that the establishment hates Donald Trump and will overrule the people come convention time. He doesn’t seem to care much that he would be violating the overwhelming majority of of the population’s desire to NOT have John Kasich be the GOP nominee. He also doesn’t seem to care that a contested convention could spell doom for the party in the general election in nominating a candidate that the people don’t want. No doubt if this scenario plays out, many of the front runner’s supporters will stay home, almost certainly capitulating the election to Hillary Clinton. Yes, John Kasich’s behavior could help Hillary Clinton get elected.
Now, Griffwood Post respect’s John Kasich’s record as Governor of Ohio and his classy manner on the campaign trail. However, it’s entirely disingenuous that he would claim to be the adult among the candidates, but then seek to usurp the democratic process. The point of the matter is, John Kasich is a politician just like the rest of them, and shouldn’t be viewed as the people’s champion he claims to be. He has a good record in Ohio, that doesn’t mean he’s fit to be a king, who denies the American people the right to choose. Political parties in the U.S. are not public entities, but party leaders and presidential candidates should respect the fact that the American public is tied into these party institutions and respect the will of the people.
At least, Governor Kasich has committed to dropping out of the race if he does not win in Ohio on Tuesday. We at Griffwood hold him to this pledge, and expect that a loss in Ohio for Kasich will mean that he officially ends his bid for the White House, and does not hang in the race simply to keep his name in the party’s eye come convention time.