For some reason, outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich won’t go away. He stayed in way too long in the 2016 GOP primaries and he’s strongly considering a presidential run in 2020. This would be a good thing… for President Trump.
The thing that keeps President Trump popular is getting out in public. He needs the press to be talking about him even if they’re talking negatively about him. That’s his power. When he’s in the news, his popularity grows. When he’s not in the news, his popularity dips.
Kasich may be able to help him stay in the news as a nomination challenger:
“Tariffs are a bad idea. Debt is a bad idea. Family separation is a bad idea. Demonizing immigrants is a bad idea. And breaking down our alliances is bad too,” Kasich said.
The Ohio Democratic Party chairman, no fan of many of Kasich’s actions as governor, said Thursday that he admired Kasich’s willingness to take on Trump.
“For the sake of the country, I do think having someone, one person in that party, willing to actually speak out, is something that’s a good thing,” chairman David Pepper said.
2020 is likely going to have a ton of competitors vying for the Democratic nomination. They’re going to get the lion’s share of the news if President Trump goes unopposed. If Kasich and/or outgoing Senator Jeff Flake mount a run for the nomination, it would give the President a viable excuse to start campaigning and raising money. He’ll be doing that anyway, but until his Democratic challenger emerges, he won’t get the same level of attention.
Competition means he’ll be able to ramp up his campaign at an earlier stage. Some would say this is a bad thing since it means wasting resources that could be saved for the general election, but that’s based on traditional thinking. In the modern age, fundraising is much more pronounced when the threat is present.
In other words, the President could go into the general election season with more money and a stronger campaign if he is challenged early on for the nomination. He’s a puncher and he needs a present opponent in order to punch properly. Picking at the various Democratic challengers before one pulls ahead of the pack will be ineffective.
The wild card in the scenario is if Kasich runs as an independent, splitting the vote in the general election. This would be a disaster for the President.
By no means should Republicans (or anyone) ever support a John Kasich run. That’s not what I’m suggesting. But if it happens, we shouldn’t fret. The President will be able to make gains in exposure and fundraising as a result of a failed attempt by Kasich.