Kasich strategist: Bush, Carson won't survive South Carolina

John Kasich's campaign said Saturday that the Republican presidential field will narrow to four candidates after today's South Carolina primary and that the Ohio governor will be among the candidates to advance, Aaron Gould Sheinin is reporting.

Sheinin is in South Carolina covering the primary for the Dayton Daily News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


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Kasich strategist John Weaver told reporters Saturday that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won't survive the day.

"We’re going to exceed expectations," Weaver said. "The governor’s strong showing beating those expectations will help alter the shape of the field. In reality there will be four viable candidates moving forward after today’s results."

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio campaigns aboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Feb. 19, 2016. South Carolina Republicans vote in their presidential primary on Saturday. (Stephen B. Morton/The New York Times)

Weaver made the case that Kasich and Trump are the only two campaigns currently adding staff and opening offices in future voting states and that Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz have major problems.

Rubio, he said, had planned on winning here and that his poor showing in New Hampshire leaves him stymied.

"Something happened on the way to their coronation," Weaver said of Rubio. "They're not going to win South Carolina as they predicted all along."

Cruz, Weaver said, planned to "dominate" the South.

"Last time I checked, South Carolina was the gateway to the South," Weaver said. "He is not going to dominate."

It's important to note, however, that while Weaver said Kasich "will exceed expectations" tonight, he refused to say what those expectations are.

"We don’t have an expectation of anything other than what I said," he said. "Whatever we get tonight, and I think it’s going to be more than what people have said it, will help narrow the field down to four next week."

Kasich will spend tonight in Massachusetts and Vermont, both of which vote March 1, along with 10 other states, including Georgia. He will hit the road next week for Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.



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