COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In Washington, John Kasich was known as a fiscal conservative. On the 2016 presidential campaign trail, he was viewed as a Republican moderate. During his early days as Ohio governor, he was sometimes called a bully.
As his administration nears its end, Kasich calls his time in office “transformative” for Ohio, but what will be next for him?
Kasich ends his eight years in the governor’s office on Jan. 14 when he will be replaced by another Republican, Mike DeWine. But, Kasich isn’t likely to ride off into the retirement sunset. There is much speculation about another presidential run in 2020. Supporters say he appeals to moderate Republicans who are tired of the bombastic President Donald Trump and to moderate Democrats who are also tired of Trump.
But, during a lunchtime interview this week at the Columbus Metropolitan Club, Kasich told NBC4’s Colleen Marshall that he is realistic about the strong support Trump still has from the GOP base and what that could mean for his chances.
“I don’t get into things where I don’t think I can win, and right now, right now, today, inside the Republican Party, I can’t beat him in a primary,” Kasich said. “But we’ll see. That’s today.”
Kasich is said to be considering a run as an independent, third-party alternative to Trump — and to whoever emerges on the Democratic ticket. But how realistic are his chances? Some experts think they’re better than many would believe.
“Can you imagine the circumstances in which in fact an independent candidate or a third-party candidate can win?” asked Ohio State University political science professor emeritus Herb Asher. “And the answer would be, sure you can.”