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Governor Kasich Gains Support In New Hampshire For GOP Presidential Run


Governor Kasich has been spending a lot of time in New Hampshire to improve his chances in the Republican Presidential race.  That state's primary will be held on February 9th.

The below transcript is an automated transcript of the above conversation. Please excuse minor typos and errors.

Debbie Holmes: The New Hampshire primary is less than three weeks away on February 9th. Governor Kasich has been spending a lot of time in New Hampshire to improve his chances in the Republican presidential race. And here to talk to me about that is reporter Chrissie Thompson with the Cincinnati Enquirer. Thanks for joining me.

Chrissie Thompson: Thanks for having me.

DH: So what's the mood in the state there?

CT: Well you know voters in New Hampshire famously wait until the last minute to make their decision. So in New Hampshire voters are really starting to tune in more than they have even over the last few months. They're all taking it very seriously, they really feel like they're both really matter because they vote so early.

DH: So are they excited about these candidates on both sides? In particular the Republicans.

CT: Yes. I think they're very excited to meet with you know each of the candidates. If you live in New Hampshire you often get to see in person if not I ask the question of almost every person who runs for president and that is something that they that they do enjoy.

But especially as the primary draws near you can see that they're taking things more seriously. They're really pondering their choices some of them seem you know very double minded or almost an anguished over who are they going to and really that these last three weeks are very important weeks to each person who lives here.

DH: So how are the crowds for Kasich?

CT: He had about one hundred people at each of the town hall meetings that he's done over the last few days. That's good turnout. He doesn't do these big campaign rallies that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders do that they get thousands of people.

All the New Hampshire voters though say that they really appreciate his style of having a town hall meeting and really giving anyone who wants to an opportunity to ask him a question. Usually he take questions for 45 minutes and I think the sense in the room is that most people who came with a question got it answered.

DH: Do you think that if he did hold a big campaign speech at a big community hall or something would there be a large crowd?

CT: I don't think so that's not really the style of campaign that he's run, and he is gaining momentum out here there have been some polls that have come out lately that have shown him you know neck and neck with the other establishment candidates. Many of the polls show him in second place behind Donald Trump who has a sizable lead in New Hampshire.

DH: A recent poll has him second to Donald Trump who has 27 percent of the voter support in the primary versus 20 percent for Kasich.

CT: Right that poll was a bit of an anomaly showing him so close to Trump. Typically Trump has like a 12 to 24 point lead and so for Kasich to be so close that's a bit of an anomaly it's the ARG (American Research Group) poll, but many other polls have shown Kasich you know tied for second or are right up there with the other candidates.

I think that candidates are pulling closer and that New Hampshire voters are starting to realize the Kasich is more of a player than we thought he would be even a few weeks ago.

I've heard that from some voters. Other voters don't quite know yet, but he's starting to do better in the polls and voters consistently tell me that they don't really care what the polls say. They are going to make their own decision, but there is behind their words a little bit of an attitude of you know they do want their vote to count and they they want to you know kind of parse the candidates that have have a real chance. But certainly most voters think the Kasich does have a real chance and are really giving him a good shot.

DH: Now independent voters there in New Hampshire can participate in the primary as Republicans or Democrats. Do you think this is going to help Kasich then?

CT: It certainly won't hurt him. You know the jury is a little bit out on how many independent voters consistently change which party they vote for year-to-year.

The other feature that I think is a real interesting of the New Hampshire primary is that you can register to vote at the door when you vote. So you know we don't even really know what the voter makeup is going to look yet.

Yes Kasich is pulling perhaps second or third in this state, but he still close to the other establishment voters that somebody is going to catch fire and get a lot of momentum in the last week or even the last few days. And it's way too early to tell if that's going to be Governor Kasich. He certainly have a shot.

DH: All right well thanks for talking with me that's Chrissy Thompson reporter with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

CT: Thanks Debbie.