Election 2020

Kasich Toying with 2020, GOP or Indie, Courting 'Vast Ocean in the Middle'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, shakes hands with a supporter in Concord, N.H., on Nov. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was on a three-city swing through New Hampshire this week, potentially feeling out a 2020 run for the White House as a Republican, or as an independent.

When CNN asked Kasich during a stop in Manchester, N.H., about how he’s calculating his chances, the governor replied, “I don’t do math calculations. That’s not what I do.”

“I mean, all options are on the table. And the question is, ultimately, can I have a very positive impact on the country, and I’ve got lots of people here who were saying to me just — I was here yesterday and this guy comes to me and says, I don’t care what you do, but wherever you go, I want to be there. I want you to understand that,” he said. “And that’s a really heartening thing. Terrific.”

Kasich told reporters in Concord on Thursday that he’s “encouraged every time I come back” to New Hampshire.

“I know everybody’s wondering how I’m going to make a decision, when I’m going to make a decision. I don’t know, but what’s most important to me is that I can have a voice that can be a healing voice for the country.”

Kasich said he believes an independent run could be viable because “there’s a vast ocean in the middle.”

“The middle has been numb, they didn’t know what to do. But they did something they haven’t done in 100 years — they voted,” he said. “They turned out in unbelievable numbers to say we’ve had enough. Where that takes us, I can’t quite tell. But if you have this big ocean in the middle, there’s perhaps a chance for something that’s unique in American history.”

Kasich said in an email to supporters on Thursday night that his trip was to meet “with old friends and new supporters, and I spoke about what we can all do to make a difference in our communities during these times of deep partisan division.”

“This is a message that more and more Americans need to hear,” he added. “We all instinctively know right from wrong, but it will take each of us doing our part to drive real change.”

Kasich capped off his New Hampshire trip by launching a new johnkasich.com site, which is structured with elements of a political action committee and elements of a candidate’s website from position statements to donation solicitation.