One of the biggest stories coming out of New Hampshire right now is John Kasich doing pretty well in second place. This isn’t entirely unexpected since Kasich has been polling at 15% to 18% for a while now, and that’s…well, almost exactly what he’ll wind up with. In fact, New Hampshire offered very little surprises, but now we have to re-evaluate everything. You know, that’s the “fun” of each individual primary.
The real question becomes “Can John Kasich possibly win the nomination?” Well…”no” would be the short answer.
And that’s probably a good thing for the Democrats in all honesty. He’s the Republican’s strongest candidate by a pretty wide margin. He’s the only one who comes within miles of Hillary Clinton’s experience, he’s from an important purple state that is famous for predicting the winner, and he’s cultivated a (fake) positive-guy image. He’s not really a moderate—his stewardship of Ohio has been just as union-busting and deregulating as Walker or Christie—but in this current Republican crop anyone looks moderate compared to, say, Ted Cruz.
In fact, since Kasich is likely to receive a bump from New Hampshire, get ready for Cruz to start the “RINO-hunt” on him. This is the new GOP-witchhunt that they engage in with some new candidate seemingly every week. Many of Cruz’s fans are saying Donald Trump, of all people, is secretly a Democrat.
And it’s in this climate of ultra-conservatism that we find ourselves in now, and that’s the same weather that will probably lock somebody like Kasich out of the nomination. It’s the “Jon Huntsman 2012 syndrome” where the guy most likely to win the general is least likely to get the nomination. Just don’t tell Katich that just yet, he’s famous for his temper. Like I said, the “Nice guy, positive” image may be more crafty p.r. perception than reality.