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September 10, 2015

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Hmm...interesting.

What makes Kasich a scary candidate though?

He can increase GOP margins among black voters, comes across as unrelentingly moderate, will almost certainly win Ohio and puts other Midwestern states in play, and overall put Hillary Clinton on the defensive.

He's scary in terms of being the toughest potential GOP candidate to beat, and by no small margin.

This presumes, though, that

a) He has a working machine behind him

b) said machine has cash fueling it.

"Unrelentingly moderate"?

Unions might say something about that.

'During a speech before Ashtabula County Republicans in March 2009, Kasich talked about the need to "break the back of organized labor in the schools," according to the Ashtabula Star Beacon.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kasich

I agree on the substance. But that's why Kasich is scary.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-15/kasich-charms-unions-as-walker-embodies-new-republican-antipathy

The man can win, David. My /wife/ likes him.

Opposing organized labor in the schools it not the most polarizing of issues, there's a not insignificant wing of reform minded Democrats who view teachers' unions as a problem.

Kasich's support for the very idea of government helping the least well off, for trying to do right on the Medicare expansion, is pretty dangerous.

There is, I think, a psephological basis to the Kasich-danger. Broadly speaking, in an FPTP system parties have two roads to victory: base mobilization v appeal to the median voter.

Actually, I am going to put this in a post. I do hope the usual suspects comment. For some reason, Logan, all the activity seems to happen in email ...

FWIW, I don't think he's doing the GOP any favors. He's reinforcing a set of media narratives about them as racist and plutocratic. A lot of that damage could heal or be repaired over the next fourteen months -- that's more or less a geological epoch in politics -- but at this point, every week he stays on top of the polls and in the news is a bad week for the GOP.

That said, if he's doing anything right now he's clearing the underbrush for Jeb Bush. Bush has not yet begun to fight; we've all been focused on his gaffes, but he's sitting on a war chest that is probably already over $200 million. That's just a crazy amount of money, and its effects have not yet begun to be felt.

We all agree it's theoretically possible to piss away a $200 million war chest, but nothing Jeb has done yet has risen to that level of screwup.


Doug M.

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