Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has no conventional path to the GOP nomination, but this has not discouraged the race's underdog from continuing his campaign.
Kasich is confident the Republican primary is headed to a contested convention and, under that scenario, the delegates will entrust him with carrying the party's banner into the general election.
Having only won his own home state of Ohio, Kasich currently has only 143 delegates. He could win every delegate remaining in the primaries and still not have enough to clinch the nomination.
The party’s front-runner Donald Trump has demanded that Kasich drop out of the race. Complaining that the governor has no realistic shot of amassing the 1,237 delegates needed before the GOP convention, he is merely running as a spoiler, BBC reports.
The business mogul reportedly told the Republican National Committee that Kasich’s persistence was unfair to his own campaign. Trump believes the Ohio governor’s support is only cutting into his own voter base, not their opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
“If I didn’t have Kasich, I automatically win,” Trump told his supporters at a Wisconsin rally. If Trump loses Wisconsin, his path to 1,237 delegates will become narrower and would likely result in a contested convention.
On April 3, Kasich outlined his case to remain in the race to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“There’s two strong things I have going for me,” Kasich said. “No. 1, I beat Hillary Clinton in virtually every poll. I’m the only one that does it on the Republican side.”
The governor also cited his record on job growth and foreign policy experience, concluding, “I believe that a convention will look at somebody like me and that’s why I think I’m going to be the nominee … And we’re going to have an open convention.”
Kasich thinks a convention would be a fun cultural event.
“Kids will spend less time focusing on Bieber and Kardashian, and more time focusing on how we elect presidents,” Kasich said. “It will be so cool.”
The governor’s rhetoric against Trump and Cruz has intensified since the end of March. Blasting Trump’s erratic policy positions and Cruz’s alleged lack of accomplishments, Kasich calls it his responsibility to remain in the race, according to The New York Times.
“Look, people say, ‘Why does he stay in the race?’” Kasich said. “What, am I supposed to get out and leave it to these guys?”