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Government & Politics
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Political Analyst Ponders the Probability of a Future Presidential Bid by Gov. Kasich

A photo of John Kasich
ALLEGRA BOVERMAN
/
NHPR

This weekend marked the first one since July of last year in which Gov. John Kasich wasn’t running for president. But some are wondering if his presidential ambitions are over.

Gov. John Kasich’s sudden decision to leave the Republican presidential contest last week was a bit of a surprise to University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven. But he says Kasich’s campaign wasn’t catching on anywhere.

“He could have run this exact same campaign when he ran 16 years ago," Niven said. "He’s still running for that Republican Party, and I think that was one of the fundamental miscalculations. He was running for a party where resumes and hugs might have gotten him somewhere.”

Niven notes 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole won the nomination on his third try, so he says Kasich could try again – but that he might not have much of a shot in a party that will likely nominate Donald Trump this time.

Kasich’s only primary win was in Ohio, which suggests Trump might have trouble here.

Niven says that Republicans hoping to see incumbent Sen. Rob Portman re-elected need to consider running two campaigns when Trump campaigns here.

“It would be hard for anybody, but Rob Portman would be to sort of command the state’s attention over Donald Trump? None of the other candidates for president was able to do it,” Niven said.

Niven notes that over the last 40 years, turnout has been highest when the approval ratings for the candidates is lowest – and with both Trump and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with the highest unfavorabilty ratings in history, this fall could bring a record turnout.