Does John Kasich Have A Chance? How He Can Catch Up To The GOP 15

John Kasich has his work cut out for him. The Ohio governor officially announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, stressing his considerable experience in government and his history of overcoming long odds in politics with the repeated refrain, “They said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong.”

The latter is an idea Kasich will have to hammer home in the next two weeks because while nobody is saying he can’t possibly win the nomination, he’s facing some very long odds. As the 16th Republican to formally enter the race, Kasich is currently near the bottom of the pack in terms of poll numbers.

According to the Huffington Post average of national polls, Kasich’s support is currently at 1.7 percent, placing him 12th in a field of 16 candidates, many of whom have significant national profiles that Kasich, a relative unknown on the national political scene, will struggle to match.

If he expects to be a viable candidate, political analysts say there are some concrete steps he needs to take.

“He has to get on that debate stage, particularly because it’s in his home state,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “The only way he’s going to ‘prove them wrong’ is to get on that debate stage … There’s no way the news is going to be covering Kasich unless he gets into the top 10.”

O’Connell said that Kasich appears to be gambling on the possibility that his announcement, and the spike in coverage that comes with it, will give him enough of a bump in the polls to break into the top 10, and that once he’s seen as a top tier candidate, he’ll be able to attract both supporters and donors.

Read more from Rob Garver at The Fiscal Times

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Analysis & Political Strategy