Portrait of a party on the verge of coming apart

For a certain type of Republican, the fantasy world where Donald Trump is not winning the GOP primary is a very nice place to live.

Beth Hansen, the campaign manager for John Kasich, is this type of Republican. Hansen is speaking to a crowd that’s gathered in a smokehouse bar in this city’s elegant, cobblestoned downtown, describing vividly a world where Kasich, the unvarnished, moderate governor of Ohio, is actually poised to win. This is not, to put it mildly, a world most political observers can currently envision.

“Our surge in New Hampshire is less than four weeks away!” Hansen says, to scattered applause from the group of several dozen clean-cut people in bow ties and long wool coats. “I feel really good about our ground game,” she adds. “We don’t rely on the public polls.”

According to those polls, Kasich isn’t much of a factor.