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    John Kasich Tag

    Anyone who remembers the 2016 Republican primary knows that former Ohio Governor John Kasich loves nothing more than the sound of his own voice. So it should come as no surprise that he is ditching his allegiance to the Republicans in order to speak at the Democratic National Convention in support of Joe Biden. Do you think he'll mention that his father was a mailman?

    Ohio governor John Kasich (R) has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and his voters, so it's perhaps not surprising that he stated Sunday he is "very seriously considering" running for president in 2020. It's not clear if he plans to primary the president or if he believes he can win on a "centrist" third party, even bipartisan, ticket.

    The 2018 midterms are going to be followed like nothing we've seen before, drawing more mainstream media coverage than did even the 2010 midterms.  Although they have lost two special elections (Kansas and Montana) and failed to avoid a runoff in Georgia, Democrats and their media allies really really want the 2018 midterms to be a referendum on President Trump. While we focus often on the fact that Democrats are divided between the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren wing and the slightly less radical Cory Booker wing, Republicans, too, are divided.  The 2018 Ohio Senate race for incumbent Sherrod Brown (D)'s seat provides a snapshot of this friction. Conservative, conservative-leaning, and Trump-supporting Republicans are already endorsing Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel in what they hope will be a successful rematch between Brown and Mandel.  Mandel lost to Brown in 2012 and last year announced he was running again in 2018.

    The ObamaCare Medicaid expansion is a horrible deal for low income Americans; it's also where a large number of "newly covered" Americans get their new coverage. Not only does the expansion include "automatic" enrollment in Medicaid through ObamaCare even if it's not wanted, but expanding Medicaid to slightly higher income levels includes many who have managed to acquire a home or other assets.  Their home and assets, however, go to pay for their Medicaid bills after they die.  In essence, then, Medicaid functions as a loan from the federal government just as it always has, but because the income level has been raised, more Medicaid recipients than ever will have their assets seized to cover the cost of their Medicaid expenses. Despite this, some GOP governors are fighting their own party to keep the Medicaid expansion in their states.

    John Kasich has a big announcement at 5:00 EST, but we all know what he will say. He'll formally announce he's suspending his presidential campaign. And yes, he was running for president this whole time. By the way, did you know his father was a mailman? Because his father was a mailman. By some theories, Kasich hung on just long enough to siphon votes from Cruz and serve as an anti-Trump spoiler. Not sure I buy this particular line because it assumes Kasich supporters would've defaulted to Cruz in the absence of the Governor. In any case, some have suggested (though none have confirmed), that Trump and Kasich struck a smokey, back-room deal which would explain the timing of Kasich's withdrawal from the race.

    Indiana votes today. The finally tallies could make or break Senator Cruz's 2016 White House aspirations. Prior to Hoosiers heading to the ballot box, Trump was ahead in the polls.

    The Republican delegate situation:

    Immediately after winning the primary, Trump tweeted:

    Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvanie, Rhode Island, and Maryland vote today. All polls close at 8:00 PM EST. UPDATES (by WAJ): Issue is not whether Trump wins the 5 states, issue is whether he picks up more delegates than expected, which he will have to do to get on trajectory for first ballot win. https://twitter.com/ABC/status/725112239469006848

    I once commented that I can't stand the sound of John Kasich's voice. It's not that it is grating on the nerves, like Hillary's screeching chalkboard-scraping cackle. It's just that he reminds me and a lot of people of the relative at the dinner table who JUST WON'T STOP TALKING. And who doesn't pick up on social cues, like people looking sideways at each other out of the corners of their eyes; gently trying to change the subject; excusing themselves because it's getting late and they have to get up early for something or another. When I hear him speak, I get flashbacks of childhood when an elderly relative-in-law would corral me into sitting with him for the post-meal Passover seder service. For most non-orthodox Jews, the seder meal means we're done. But no, he'd put me on the spot because no one else would stay, and there we'd be for what seemed like eternity. John Kasich could be that guy.

    Updates (by WAJ). No surprise, the second the polls closed Trump was projected the winner. What remains to be seen is how many delegates he gets. (added) As of 11:30 p.m., Trump has approximately 60% of the vote and is credited with 89 delegates, but that likely will go up a couple more as more final results come in. Kasich has 3, and Cruz none. So Trump did what he needed to do. But he's still on a trajectory to fall short of 1237 on the first ballot. A number of commenters on TV and Twitter also are pointing out the obvious -- the Republican electorate in NY State is small relative to Democrats, so there remains no reason to believe Trump could carry the state in a general election. Hillary v. Bernie currently not called, but "leaning" Hillary. Networks call it for Hillary. https://twitter.com/LegInsurrection/status/722600349379522561

    On the face of it, answering the question as to what happened in the GOP primary in Wisconsin seems like a no-brainer. As Edward Morrissey writes, Trump shot himself in the foot---dissing popular governor Scott Walker, and flubbing abortion questions---and ended up losing by 13 points, 35 to Cruz's 48. To shore up this argument about a Trump reversal in Wisconsin, Morrissey cites a Wisconsin poll from late January and one from late February, the first of which had Trump leading by 6 and the second by 10. So the narrative seems to make sense---that is, until you actually look a bit deeper, when you find that something additional might have been going on.

    I still can't stand even the sound of John Kasich's voice. Now that we have that out of the way, it's pretty clear that the Republican primaries and convention come down to a choice between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Speculation otherwise -- including conspiracy theories -- does not seem to live in the real world, according to Charlie Cook:
    Whenev­er I hear Re­pub­lic­ans wax on about the pos­sib­il­ity of nom­in­at­ing someone oth­er than Don­ald Trump or Ted Cruz — talk­ing up John Kasich, Paul Ry­an, Scott Walk­er, Mitt Rom­ney, or some oth­er less po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure — it makes me won­der: Ex­actly how would that hap­pen? We all have mem­or­ized two num­bers. The first is 1,237, the num­ber of del­eg­ates needed to win a ma­jor­ity at the GOP con­ven­tion. The second is 40, as in Rule 40, re­quir­ing that a can­did­ate win primar­ies or caucuses in eight states to have his name placed in nom­in­a­tion. (It was ad­ded to the party rules in 2012, pushed by al­lies of Mitt Rom­ney to stifle Ron Paul.)
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