Despite what’s shaping up to be a single-digit showing in Indiana, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign said he’ll stay in the contest unless Donald Trump reaches the 1,237 delegates required for the GOP presidential nomination.
With 23 percent reporting, Kasich had 8.8 percent of the vote in Indiana tonight, compared to 53.6 percent for Trump and 34.8 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“Tonight’s results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans,” chief strategist John Weaver wrote in an email to supporters with just a quarter of the votes counted tonight. “Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention. The comments from Trump, on the verge of winning in Indiana, heighten the differences between Governor Kasich and his positive, inclusive approach and the disrespectful ramblings from Donald Trump.”
“Prior to tonight’s primary, the Kasich campaign had already secured a large plurality of Indiana delegates committed to Governor Kasich at a multi-ballot convention as part of the pre-primary delegate selection process,” he added.
“…Gov. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the Convention.”
Weaver maintained that Kasich “remains the candidate best positioned to win a contested convention” as a “plurality of Trump delegates will support him after the first ballot.”
“He can unite the party better than anyone else. Trump’s cynical sowing of division will render the GOP into angry, irrelevant status for decades,” the strategist added, stressing the Real Clear Politics polling average that shows Hillary Clinton leads Trump by an average of more than 6 points while Kasich leads Clinton by more than 7 points. “A Trump nomination means the end of a Republican Congress and scores of local, legislative and state constitutional offices will be lost for a generation.”
Weaver emphasized that “nearly 60 percent of GOP voters have voted for a candidate other than Donald Trump.”
“Republican primary voters deserve to have a choice in the remaining contests and we intend to forcefully give them one. Americans overwhelmingly want to vote for Governor Kasich in a general election. A detailed analysis of the Electoral College confirms Governor Kasich is the only one who can win. Both Trump and Cruz would lose to Clinton by considerable margins in a head-to-head race, winning just 210 and 206 Electoral College votes, respectively. By contrast, Kasich comfortably defeats Clinton, racking up 304 Electoral College votes to her 234,” he said. “The future of the Republican Party and America is at stake. Gov. Kasich will not simply give up.”
“The Mad Hatter Gibberish pushed by Trump during the primary would weaken America. His proposals would divide us, put American workers in the unemployment line and put our national security at risk. And a Clinton presidency would be at least four more years of international drift, a liberal Supreme Court, and more big government at the expense of job creators, entrepreneurs and families.”
Kasich, Weaver said, “looks forward to continuing to compete with Donald Trump in the upcoming primaries through California on June 7th.”