john kasich header graphic

- suspended campaign May 4, 2016 -   




The Plain Dealer PolitiFact Ohio


Democracy in Action:
Kasich 2000 (exploratory campaign)
Kasich for America
Office of Gov. John Kasich
New Day for America

...527 organization announced
April 2015 (+).

...changing to super PAC?
Balanced Budget Forever
BalancedBudgetForever  |

...501(c)(4) formed Nov. 2014.

Conventional Wisdom
- Depth of experience both in Washington, DC and at the state level.
- Accomplishments as governor.
- Policy wonk.
- Hails from battleground Ohio.
- Having waged an exploratory campaign in 1999, he will have some idea of what to expect.
- May not be conservative enough; for example, expansion of Medicaid an anathema to conservatives.
- Perception that he's not seriously interested in running, and is mainly trying to advance the balanced budget amendment.

Notes, Coverage and Speeches

- Announcing suspension of his campaign at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, OH, May 4, 2016.
- National security address at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Nov. 17, 2015.
- Announcement speech in the Ohio Union at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, July 21, 2015.
- State of the State Address at the Medina Performing Arts Center in Medina, OH, Feb. 24, 2014. [PDF]

2016 - In the early states Kasich focused most of his efforts on New Hampshire, holding over one hundred town halls there; additionally the pro-Kasich New Day for America ran a well organized ground game in the Granite State.  Kasich was seen as competing in the "governor slot" with former Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Chris Christie.  His work paid off as he achieved a second place finish (15.9 percent of the vote, far behind first place finisher Donald Trump who had 35.6% of the vote).  Kasich also put together an organization in South Carolina and New Day for America was also active there, but he finished fifth of six candidates.  After South Carolina, some pundits sought to portray the campaign as a three-person race.  A Rubio campaign memo dismissively stated, "John Kasich has no path to the nomination."  The memo said, "He hasn’t shown any ability to appeal to voters outside the very small moderate/liberal subset of the Republican primary electorate." 

Kasich's strategy was predicated on winning Ohio on March 15, after which his campaign maintained that "the electoral map shifts significantly in our favor, with the delegate-rich states fitting Governor Kasich's profile" (1, 2).  Kasich did win Ohio, his first victory.  Kasich's base included large numbers of former elected officials and far fewer current and future leaders.  He did very well in newspaper endorsements (+).  The New Day for America super PAC continued with on-the-ground efforts and advertising in many states.  Although Kaisich's backers advocated for him as "presidential" and "the only adult in the room" when compared to Cruz and Trump, and although he certainly had extensive relevant experience, he never did manage to get traction. 
In state after state he fell short, and Ohio proved to be his only victory.  It became clear that Kasich could not obtain the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination and his hopes rested on a contested convention.  The campaign's major arguments were that "Gov. Kasich is the key to our Party's hope of stopping Donald Trump" (+) and that Kasich "is the candidate best positioned to defeat Hillary Clinton in November" (1, 2) The May 3 primary in Indiana appeared to be just another in a list of sub-par finishes for Kasich; his campaign stated he would "remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the Convention (+)."  However, the next day he headed to Columbus and announced that he was suspending his effort in one of the more heartfelt speeches of the campaign.

During the first quarter Gov. Kasich made his first forays to early states, travelling to South Carolina on Feb. 18-19 and New Hampshire on March 23-24 (+).  On April 18 he addressed the New Hampshire GOP's big #FITN Republican Leadership Summit, and a couple of days later on April 20, Kasich announced creation of New Day for America, a 527 organization, "to start talking about how we can come together as Americans to make this great idea called America work better for us all (+).  On June 30 Kasich signed the Ohio FY2016-17 budget (+) clearing the way for his announcement of candidacy in Columbus on July 21.  Some pundits, pointed out that he has the same senior advisor and media consultant as Jon Huntsman, have compared his candidacy to that of Huntsman, who did not fare well in 2012.

In the early states Kasich has focused most of his attention on New Hampshire.  Significant advertising in New Hampshire by the pro-Kasich super PAC New Day for America starting in July provided a initial boost.  Kasich has a solid organization in the NewHampshire (+), and the the super PAC also has a presence in the state.

On Oct. 15 in Nashua, NH Kasich set out the Kasich Action Plan (+), vowing to send Congress within his first 100 days as President "a comprehensive plan that creates the climate for job creation by balancing the budget in eight years, cutting taxes for families and businesses, reining in federal regulations, tearing down barriers to increased energy production, and returning major federal responsibilities back to our states and communities where they can be performed more efficiently and responsively to serve Americans."  As an example, on Nov. 2 he proposed eliminating the U.S. Department of Commerce (+).

2014 -
As of Election Day it was unclear if Gov. Kasich had any interest in running for president.  He focused on governing and on his re-election campaign (+), and, for example, made no visits to the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  On Aug. 8, Kasich received a bit of a boost when the RNC announced Cleveland, Ohio as its choice to host the 2016 Republican National Convention (+).  Kasich had no trouble with his re-election, as the campaign of his Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D), imploded.  Kasich defeated FitzGerald and Anita Rios (G) by 63.6% to 33.0% and 3.3%, carrying 86 of 88 counties (all except Athens and Monroe >).  After the campaign, Kasich showed more signs of potential 2016 activity, while still revealing little of his intentions.  In late November Kasich launched Balanced Budget Forever, seeking "the passage of state resolutions calling for a constitutional convention the purpose of which is passing a balanced budget amendment."  He started a tour to highlight the issue, making the first stop in Arizona on Dec. 11. 

- Gov. Kasich has not given overt signals that he is interested in running for president in 2016, such as visiting key early primary states or setting up a leadership PAC.  He first must get re-elected in Nov. 2014, and that could be a challenge considering he was elected by just two percentage points (49.04 to 47.04) in 2010.  Matt Carle, who served as Kasich's director of legislative affairs, started as campaign manager in August.  Kasich can point to an array of accomplishments in the first three years of his administration; at the top of the list is turning a $7.7 billion budget deficit into a surplus, and filling the state's rainy day fund to a record $1.48 billion.  In "A Year in Review" video (>), Kasich highlights 2013 accomplishments, first of which is, "We cut taxes by $2.7 billion, more than any other state, by cutting income taxes 10 percent for all Ohioans and by cutting taxes for virtually every small business in half."  Not mentioned, the state sales tax rate increased from 5.5-percent to 5.75 percent on Sept. 1 and new property taxes are coming into effect.  Kasich also states Ohio is investing "$1.6 billion in new money in education, the largest increase in a decade."  And he states, "We found an innovative and a creative way to tackle Ohio's most pressing transportation needs."  (The Ohio Turnpike is to "issue bonds backed by future toll revenue and use that money to build critical transportation projects mostly in Northern Ohio.")  In a surprising move in October, Kasich went against Republicans in the General Assembly and pushed through expansion of Medicaid; the state will accept $2.5 billion provided for by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Ohio Democrats have pointed to a various reports indicating that Ohio's economy is lagging behind the national economy.  They have also been critical of of Kasich's JobsOhio, "a private, nonprofit organization that promotes job creation and economic development for Ohio."  In the first half of 1999 Kasich waged an exploratory campaign for the 2000 Republican nomination.  Sixteen years later, there may be another Kasich presidential run, but much will depend on 2014. 

John Kasich.  April 25, 2017.  TWO PATHS: America Divided or UnitedThomas Dunne Books [St. Martin's Press/Macmillan].
"When Ohio governor John Kasich ran for president, his powerful message of hope and togetherness struck a chord with American voters. In Two Paths: America Divided or United, he carries that message forward by reflecting on the tumultuous 2016 campaign, sharing his concerns for America and his hopes for our future, and sounding a clarion call to reason and purpose, humility and dignity, righteousness and calm."

John Kasich.  2010.  EVERY OTHER MONDAY: Twenty Years of Life, Lunch, Faith, and Friendship.  New York:
Atria Books [Simon & Schuster]. >
"Where do you go when the water rises? For more than twenty years, John Kasich has sought the answer to this question and many of life’s most fundamental challenges in an unlikely place: his twice-a-month lunches with an irreverent, thoughtful, and spirited circle of guys who are members of a Bible study group."

John Kasich.  May 2006.  STAND FOR SOMETHING: The Battle for America's Soul.  New York: Grand Central Publishing [Hachette Group]
"In STAND FOR SOMETHING, he tackles-head-on-the erosion of long-standing, hard-earned values upon which our nation is built."Honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, faith, humility, accountability, compassion, forgiveness...These are our American values, our common denominators..."Drawing on his childhood growing up in blue-collar McKees Rocks, PA, his college years, his Washington career, and his most recent turn in the private sector, Kasich reminds us of the fundamental principles that are our American legacy."

John Kasich.  Nov. 1998.  COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the Face of America.  New York: Doubleday Books. >
"...John Kasich profiles twenty people who are doing incredible things to help and inspire others, a celebration of individuals he's met whom he considers his 'heroes.'  Far more than a compilation of isolated acts of bravery and compassion, Kasich...sees the actions evidence by the people in his book as part of a larger, steadily growing
crusade that is changing America.  He calls it the 'New Volunteerism...'"

Michelle Cottle.  "The Case for Kasich."  National Journal, March 7, 2015.

from 2014
Kasich Taylor for Ohio

this page last revised May 27, 2017
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