Election 2020

Climbing Kasich Predicts He Wins Nod If He Does Well in New Hampshire

(AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been climbing in the New Hampshire polls — tied for second place in recent surveys — and told CNN he predicted his surge all along.

In the latest Monmouth poll, Kasich is tied with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Granite State at 14 points apiece. In the latest ARG poll, he and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are tied for second at 14 points each. In an NH1/Reach poll this month, Kasich is tied for second place with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, registering 12 points each. Donald Trump leads each poll, with the ARG poll showing the slimmest lead of the three at 9 points.

Kasich made the main stage for the Fox Business Network debate, in slot No. 7 of seven candidates who made the cut.

Nationwide, he’s polling at about 2 percent.

But Kasich predicted “that if I do well, if I’m a story out of New Hampshire, a big story, I believe I’ll be the nominee.”

“We’ve been plugging away, and I’ve been telling the media that it was some point we were going to break out into the open,” he said. “And I think it is kind of happening now. And I’ve done over 50 town hall meetings. We have a great campaign, the best of all the candidates, and I’ve argued all along the things I represent, which is experience, unity, job creation, national security experience — these things at the end are going to matter.”

“Now I understand I’m in second and not in first but, you know, it is good to be in that position. And we’ll see what happens. You know, it’s the long way. It is another 27 days I think until that election. And I don’t think we’re going to really know who wins New Hampshire until election night.”

Kasich’s campaign sent out a fundraising appeal after news of his poll climb broke, asking also for volunteers to deploy to New Hampshire and home-based phone bankers.

“I sort of felt we were rising. And you know, you’ve got to remember, I’m like the engine that just keeps going. Remember, nobody thought I would get in. They didn’t think I’d raise the money, they didn’t think I’d be in the debate, and I think this is going to be my sixth debate and I’m beginning to believe that, contrary to what the media says, I really believe that real experience as a reformer, fighting the establishment, bringing about change, matters to people, particularly when people think they have been ripped off, that nobody listens to them, that the rich and the special interests call the tune. They never have with me and they never will,” the governor said.

“At the end, people want somebody who’s going to land the plane,” Kasich predicted. “…And what New Hampshire would do for me is give me the name recognition and people would begin to hear who I am. I believe we’re going to do extremely well and be one of the stories coming out of that state. We’ll see. I could be wrong. But I’m telling you if we come out of there strong, I believe we’re going to have momentum that could take us all the way to the nomination.”

Kasich was campaigning in South Carolina today and was returning to New Hampshire on Friday.