Kasich, like Huntsman, is adored by the media, is seen as too moderate by GOP voters and appears to enjoy telling Republicans they’re wrong. As Kyle Kondik first pointed out in Politico, Huntsman entered the 2012 race with great press but went on to kill his campaign, in part by tweeting stuff like: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Huntsman won no primaries and dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire primary, where the only party affiliation he won was self-identified Democrats.
Kasich’s record is actually considerably more conservative than Huntsman’s. For one thing, he isn’t in favor of same-sex marriage. When we look at our aggregate ideological ratings, which combine Kasich’s congressional voting record, the ideology of his donors and the left-right lean of his public statements, Kasich is about as moderate as Jeb Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Huntsman, on the other hand, looks a lot more like Chris Christie.
Kasich’s problem is that he sounds a lot like Huntsman.