One of the major selling points being pitched by John Kasich during his bid for the presidency in 2016 was that he could deliver Ohio for the GOP in what was expected to be a tight race. (Trump wound up winning it by almost ten points and nearly half a million votes anyway.) But is he really all that popular back home in the Buckeye State? They’re electing his replacement as Governor this year (Kasich is term limited) and there are plenty of hopefuls trying for his job. The Governor, in a probably not terribly surprising move, has endorsed his own Lt. Governor, Mary Taylor to replace him.
There’s just one problem with that plan. Taylor either isn’t aware that he endorsed her or simply isn’t willing to admit it. (Cincinnati.com)
In the Republican primary for Ohio governor, no one apparently wants Gov. John Kasich’s endorsement – including the candidate who has it.
Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor told a large group of Clermont County Republicans during her interview for their endorsement last Wednesday that Kasich had endorsed Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and his running mate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, two Republicans in the room confirmed to The Enquirer.
But Kasich had endorsed Taylor, his running mate in 2006 and 2010.
“She said it’s widely known that Jon Husted and Mike DeWine have been endorsed by Gov. Kasich,” Greg Simpson, a township executive for the Clermont County Republican Party, told The Enquirer. “I about fell off my chair, because it’s widely known that John Kasich had endorsed Mary Taylor.”
I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be a problem for Taylor much longer. Now that this story is making the rounds all over Ohio, the Governor is probably reconsidering his endorsement. And he wouldn’t be doing anything too unusual if he decided to switch up and back Mike DeWine and Jon Husted. Both of them are long time party regulars with good name recognition in Ohio and, at least among politicos, decent recognition nationally. That’s particularly true of DeWine, who has been at the center of any number of legal challenges over voter registration and state voting laws.
But you also have to wonder just how much Kasich’s antics during the primary and throughout last year have eroded his support. Keep in mind how much this guy’s star had risen there in recent years. In 2010 it’s true that he barely snuck through for the win with a 2% margin, but he was up against the Democratic incumbent. In 2014, however, he won his second race by more than 30% and carried 86 of 88 counties. His level of general support was undeniable.
But now he can’t even get his own running mate of eight years to admit he endorsed her. During a speech she gave last week Taylor was quoted as saying that she, “has not even seen the governor for about a year.” Seriously? Even if that’s technically true, it’s not the sort of thing one says about the boss in public. Unless, of course, Taylor knows something we don’t. Kasich was still holding onto a 57% approval rating last summer, but that was already down a bit from the previous couple of years. Does Taylor have some internal polling showing that the Governor’s relentless attacks on the President and naked ambition to primary him actually aren’t playing so well with the buckeyes?
Either way, the Lt. Governor is definitely striking an attitude of, “Kasich? You mean John Kasich? The name rings a bell, but…”
And that’s not the sort of thing we normally expect to hear about the guy who just endorsed you.