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Kasich Moving Up In Polls At Right Time

John Kasich speaking
Thomas Bradley
/
WOSU News
An average of several national polls currently ranks Kasich tenth. The top ten make the first debate in Cleveland next week.

It’s been a week since Governor Kasich announced he’s running for president. At that point, polls ranked him near the bottom of the crowded Republican field. But he’s moving up, and it’s looking more and more likely that he could be on the stage in Cleveland next week for the first debate.

John Kasich announced his plan to run for President last Tuesday, July 21st.

“I am here to ask you for your prayers, your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for President of the United States,” Kasich announced.

About the same time he was making that announcement, the G.O.P’s front runner in most of the polls, Donald Trump, was making national headlines by giving out Republican Senator Lindsay Graham’ s personal cell phone number as part of an ongoing feud between the two presidential candidates.

“I don’t know if it is the right number so let’s try it,” Trump said before listing the number.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s, it’s three or four years ago, so maybe it’s an old number.”

While Trump’s antics seemed to initially over-shadow Kasich’s announcement, Kasich was getting some positive attention from national reporters for his work on balancing budgets and reducing taxes.

And this past week, Kasich was on political talk shows including NBC’s Meet the Press, where he refused to wade into the debate over the Trump factor, saying this race is about capability, not electibility.

“If we are running for these offices just to get elected…I mean we are not running for class president. We are running to be the commander in chief and the leader of the United States of America. Grow up,” Kasich said.

Kasich isn’t answering all of the questions thrown at him. In recent campaign appearances in New Hampshire, he’s repeatedly answered some questions by saying he doesn’t know and will have to further look into those issues.

But it appears Kasich made some headway in the polls since his announcement. In the latest CNN National Poll, Kasich was in tenth place with four percent. In the NBC/Marist Poll in Iowa, Kasich was tied for last place at two percent. But in the NBC/Marist Poll in New Hampshire, Kasich was in fourth place with seven percent of the vote.

FOX, the network that will host the debates, hasn’t detailed the poll methodology it will use to determine who ten candidates are who will make the debates next week.

But Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges said Kasich will be in that mix.

“He’s moving and only trending upward. So I expect to see him next week. Lord only knows things could happen between now and next week but I have always expected him to be there,” Borges said.

Borges said he thinks Kasich’s advertising blitz in New Hampshire helped propel him to fourth place there. The head of the Ohio Democratic Party agreed those ads helped Kasich in the Granite State. But David Pepper said he doesn’t think Kasich will get much traction once people get a chance to examine his track record in Ohio.

“Ohio, under his leadership, has not done well. Our education system has fallen from fifth to 18th. We are lagging the country in our recovery. Don’t let the rhetoric fool you. So education, economic growth, maybe the two most important things any president is going to do, they are not being done very well here in Ohio. Ohioans know it and the statistics tell the story,” Pepper said.

Kasich continues to make campaign appearances in key early battleground states but he is also slated to be in Ohio one day this week.  Kasich will be in Columbus to formally open the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday.