Ahead of Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries, Marco Rubio’s campaign urged Ohio voters opposed to front-runner Donald Trump to support their governor, John Kasich, instead of the Florida senator.
“If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump,” Rubio campaign manager Alex Conant acknowledged last week, “your best chance is John Kasich.”
The results of a recent Monmouth University poll lend credence to Conant’s assessment, as Kasich edges out Trump among Ohioans expected to vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary. With 80 percent of Republicans in the state giving high marks to Kasich’s job as governor, the poll shows he is set to get 40 percent of the primary vote.
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Trump trails by five points as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio registered much further back with 15 and five points, respectively. According to the statistical breakdown of his support, Kasich is most popular among the state’s wealthier residents, while he also outperforms Trump among more centrist Republican voters.
Kasich has long looked toward his home state as the best opportunity for his campaign to gain traction. A victory in the winner-take-all Ohio primary, with 66 delegates up for grabs, could propel him to an unorthodox nomination later this year at the Republican National Convention, he said in a recent interview.
“I think it’s very hard for anybody to get there with the right number of delegates to clinch the nomination,” Kasich concluded. “But you know, you get there and you have the delegates there and they take a look at who’s running and who’s in the arena and then they make a pick. But I could go in there stronger than anybody else. That’s not inconceivable.”
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