Sources close to Kasich’s political team have told BuzzFeed News in recent weeks that both options are in play. Deliberate or not, Kasich’s moves as the 2018 midterms approach reflect that. In Massachusetts, his still-active Kasich for America committee and Doug Preisse, one of his longtime advisers, have donated to Rick Green, who is seeking an open House seat as a Republican. In California, Kasich has encouraged Steve Poizner, who this week launched a campaign for state insurance commissioner as an independent.

Kasich and his team are identifying other midterm races where he can be helpful, return the favor to those who backed his 2016 White House bid, and collect chits for 2020.

“We’ve talked about it, but there have been no decisions made,” Bob Klaffky, a member of Kasich’s inner circle, said in an interview this week. “If there are people out there he believes in, and they ask for help, and he wants to do it, then he’ll do it.”