Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t come too close to the GOP nomination in 2016, though he was one of the last candidates standing along with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz before eventually bowing out to Donald Trump. Kasich ran as the anti-Trump and has continued to be a very vocal opponent of the President ever since. Over the weekend, Kasich appeared on ABC’s This Week and mentioned how frequently he chats with friends and family about his 2020 plans.

Report on Kasich’s 2020 plans from ABC News:

On “This Week” Sunday, outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich and recently re-elected Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said they are considering their options, but that they have no plans to announce as of yet.

“Very seriously. I’m considering it,” Kasich told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos when asked how serious he was about a 2020 run against President Trump.

“These are earnest conversations that go on virtually every day with some of my friends, with my family,” Kasich added, noting that he doesn’t know when he will have to make a final decision.

Kasich, 66, unsuccessfully ran for president twice before in 2000 and 2016. He is term-limited as governor of Ohio and has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.

Asked whether a challenge to Trump from within the Republican Party could gain support, Kasich said “all options are on the table for me,” including not ruling out a third-party run.

“Let’s just say that Donald Trump is nominated and Elizabeth Warren is nominated, and you have this ocean of people who sit in the middle. Is there a legitimate opportunity for a third party, bipartisan kind of ticket to be able to – to score a victory or to have a profound impact on the future of American politics?” Kasich asked.

The point at which Kasich will have to make a decision probably has to do with whether he might run as a Republican, and actually try to primary Donald Trump, or whether he runs as an independent unaffiliated candidate with neither party. Kasich has toyed with the idea of a “unification ticket,” with a Republican for President and a Democrat for Vice-President, though he’s never pulled the trigger on this concept.

We first wrote about the possibility of a unified ticket with John Kasich and former Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper back in 2017. The “pragmatic party,” they could call themselves. Not too liberal, not too conservative, and definitely not too Trump.

Primarying Trump would be a disaster for Kasich and wouldn’t get him very far, but it would “send a message” if that’s what he’s interested in. On the other hand, third-party bids or independent bids never work out well, but maybe having a centrist message and some broad establishment backing could give rise to the Kasich-Democrat ticket.

Perhaps it will hinge on who the Democrats choose to nominate in 2020. If Kasich thinks the Democratic nominee is too liberal, maybe there is an opening for a centrist candidate.

3 COMMENTS

  1. “third-party bids or independent bids never work out well”

    That’s not actually true. Lincoln ran as a third-party candidate.

    More recently, Ross Perot ran in 1992. He was actually ahead with 39% in the polls, followed by 31% for GHW Bush, and only 25% for Bill Clinton. He was still gaining at that point, and that seemed to freak him out, so he dropped out. I think if he had stayed in, he would have won.

    Yes, it did not “work out well,” but that was only because Perot quit.

  2. I think Trump is really a centrist. Don’t you? In the primary he said, “Scotland’s health care system was working really good.” You wouldn’t hear that from Cruz.

    Sure he governs from the right but so would kasich.

    • I think that’s what conservatives should worry about. Trump has no permanent ideals or morals. He does anything that will benefit him in the moment. An expert opportunist. He saw that if he dropped his long-time liberal stances, he could appeal to the hungry far right. But he did it only as a strategy. It’s not because he “believes” anything.

      He’s not a centrist. Ignore what he says. His actions have only appealed to conservatives to ultra-conservatives. Look at the people he has put into office. Not a centrist to be found. But he also has a fragile ego, and craves to be loved. He’s loved by about one-third of the people, so far. He wants more.

      The first test of this will be how he responds to the Democratic House. Will he fight them, the way Truman complained about his “do-nothing Congress”? Or will Trump work with “his friend Nancy” in order to gain centrist support–knowing that the Republican Senate can then be blamed for not allowing “his new agenda” to pass? If so, Republican senators will have nothing to campaign on in 2020, and he could end up with a solid Democratic Congress.

      If he gains popularity by working with the left, and is then re-elected, you should be very afraid of a second term.

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