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Gov. John Kasich sees an opening for a third party run for president

During a national TV show today, Republican John Kasich said he sees an opening for a third party candidate to run for president and that he’s keeping his options open.

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On The Political View this morning, Kasich told Whoopi Goldberg: “I think for the first time there is a legitimate chance for a third party candidate because you have Republicans on the extreme and Democrats on the extreme. There is a big, wide open space in the middle. So all my options are on the table.”

He added that he believes he could win in New Hampshire, he would get “blown out” in southern state GOP primaries. “I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to waste my family’s time or my friends’ or resources,” said Kasich, who leaves the Ohio governor’s office in January.

Kasich is slated to appear on MSNBC, CNN and Comedy Central at 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. today.

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Kasich ran for president in the 2016 Republican primary, winning only in Ohio and coming in a distant second in New Hampshire. He dropped his campaign in May 2016 as the last challenger to Donald Trump.

He has been a consistent critic of Trump’s divisive style and policies. On CNN last week, Kasich criticized Trump’s rhetoric. “What is happening is wrong. It is repelling people. It is polarizing people,” he said.

Last year, 61 percent of Americans reported that they think a third party is needed, according to Gallup Poll.

Kasich’s political consultant John Weaver said Kasich has previously said he is keeping his options open — running in a primary against Trump or running as an independent — but his comments Monday were his most explicit.

University of Dayton political scientist Christopher Devine said Kasich stands little chance of winning.

“For one thing, there’s no natural base for such a candidacy - at least not one large enough to win the presidency. The vast majority of Republicans support President Trump, and aren’t looking for an alternative in 2020, at least at this point. And how many Democrats would support a candidate with Kasich’s conservative record?”

Cedarville University political scientist Mark Caleb Smith agreed.

“If the goal is to win, Gov. Kasich is likely chasing a dream. If the goal is to make a statement and provide an outlet for disgruntled voters, Kasich might be an effective independent or third party candidate,” he said.

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