Ohio is the ultimate swing state, and the friction between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump shows no signs of easing though it could have political consequences in November.
In an interview with C-SPAN this morning, Dayton Daily News Staff Writer Laura Bischoff discussed how many Ohio delegates have been unhappy with Trump’s decision to continue to bash Gov. Kasich, who has not endorsed the billionaire businessman.
The war of words between Kasich and Trump supporters escalated as the convention wore on, and Kasich refused to make an appearance.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said the governor embarrassed his state by not endorsing the GOP nominee.
The Ohio delegation is solidly behind Kasich, who was the last man standing against Trump, Bischoff said. Ohio is a winner-take-all state, and Kasich won all 66 delegates, she said.
Kasich disapproves of Trump’s message and methods, and the two men ran very different campaigns, Bischoff said.
Bischoff said even if Trump reached out to Kasich tonight in his speech, it may not make much of difference.
Kasich has indicated Trump needs a “road to Damascus” moment that completely changes his message and the approach to his campaign, she said.
Kasich seems to have little use for Trump, Bischoff said.
But Trump is still important to the Ohio Republican Party because weakness at the top of the ticket could hurt down-ticket races, including U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s fight to hold onto his seat.
“He’s in a tough re-election fight against former Gov. Ted Strickland,” she said.
The risk for Trump if he does not mend fences with Kasich is that establishment Republicans will sit on the sidelines instead of aggressively campaigning for the candidate, which could hurt him in a close election, Bischoff said.
Speaking this morning at the Ohio delegation breakfast, Kasich said, “I have no regrets for what I’ve done in my political career.”
He said, “I look in the mirror, and I feel good about who I am.”
Kasich remains very popular in Ohio, with a 60-percent approval rating overall and an 80-percent approval rating among Republicans, Bischoff said.
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