Is John Kasich still a force in Ohio politics?


Is John Kasich still a force in Ohio politics?

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The past 12 months haven’t been the best of times for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was beaten badly in his presidential run by Donald Trump and lost to Trump again when the new president’s candidate to lead the Republican Party in Ohio beat Kasich’s guy.

So does this mean Kasich is officially a lame-duck governor whose power is on the wane?

The answer depends on who you ask.

Sen. Scott Oelslager, a Canton Republican who has known Kasich for 30 years, says the Republican governor still has the bully pulpit to shape public opinion, a dynamic personality and a deep well of determination.

“I think all those things will make John strong going forward,” said Oelslager.

But Kasich’s outspokenness against Trump has hurt him with some members of the Republican Party, believes Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University.

“His POTUS run did not necessarily hurt him, but his continuing opposition to President Trump did,” said Beck. “He gambled by opposing Trump more openly than virtually any other Republican officeholder and … he lost that gamble.”

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