John Kasich (R-Ohio) spent Thursday, March 31, 2016, on his second day on the stump in Donald Trump’s backyard. In advance of the New York primary scheduled for April 19, the governor of Ohio spent his time in the Howard Beach section of New York City. Kasich was campaigning in Queens County, which has a predominantly Democratic voter enrollment. Its registered voters in Howard Beach, regardless of party, are considered among the most conservative in that county. Kasich is taking his own espoused brand of conservatism to a receptive crowd.
Kasich is taking his campaign stumping directly into the backyard of his opponent, whom the media referred to as “The Donald” years ago. The Donald was born in Queens. Fred Trump, his father, built numerous apartment buildings over the years in both Queens and adjoining Brooklyn, leading to the silver-spooned Donald being able to further this legacy.
Kasich released a statement attacking Trump’s most recent comments and subsequent back-sliding on the issue of abortion. The Ohio governor stated, “On top of all his previous inflammatory statements, yesterday he proposed punishing women who receive abortions…” This could appeal to the voters in this more conservative NYC enclave.
Kasich is pounding Trump on the issue of punishing women as criminals if abortion is legal, even though trump later altered his remarks. His clarification was instead to punish the providers of abortions, should the law prohibit them. Trump came to the pro-life position after being pro-choice in earlier flirtations with public office.
On the issue of American defense, Kasich further blasted Trump’s inadequacy as a potential Commander-in-Chief, a duty which the president fulfills under the Constitution. Kasich went on to speak about how Trump, with the potential, to have his finger on the button, “talks loosely about the use of nuclear weapons and of dismantling NATO.”
New York has 95 delegates it sends to the Republican convention. Unlike the Democrats, who have “super-delegates” of the type Hillary Clinton has amassed, that make the contest more lop-sided against Bernie Sanders than the primaries and caucuses might indicate.
CNN advised on March 31, 2016, that a Quinnipiac poll showed that in New York, Kasich was lagging poorly behind Trump with Ted Cruz in between them; the numbers were 56 percent for Trump to Cruz’s 20 percent and 19 percent for Kasich. The poll further suggested that either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton would clearly defeat the Republican candidate, regardless of who it would be.
For Kasich, to be on the stump in Trump’s backyard may be the right place for him to be, however, the polls suggest that it is the wrong time. There are 1,237 convention delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, out of the 2,472 available. Trump has 736 delegates as of March 31, and Cruz has 463. Despite his apparent optimism, Kasich, with 143 delegates tallied is the least likely to have an opportunity to get into the ring for the championship fight with the ultimate Democratic contender in November.
By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Jeanette Smith
GOP: The Official Guide to the 2016 Republican Nominating Process
Kasich: Press Release March 31, 2016
The New York Times: Fred C. Trump, Postwar Master Builder of Housing for Middle Class, Dies at 93
CNN: Poll: Clinton, Trump up big in New York
RealClearPolitics: Election 2016 — Republican Delegate Count
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License