John Kasich enters the race

Ohio’s governor John Kasich announced today that he is running for the Republican nomination for president, making him #16 to do so. In his favor is the fact that although he is pretty much a standard issue pro-oligarchy conservative, he is not a totally hateful nutso candidate, which makes him slightly different from most of his competitors.

In his announcement, Kasich made the obligatory nod to god and also gave an interview in which it appears that he is pretty religious, something that has not been too obvious in his public persona as governor of this state. He started out as a Catholic, an altar boy, but now attends a church that is part of the splinter group that broke away from the Anglican church over the ordination of a gay bishop. This breakaway denomination does not ordain LGBT priests or allow for female bishops, so it is pretty much supports your standard Republican platform.

However, Kasich did support Medicaid expansion for Ohio, favors a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and supported a ban on assault weapons, all of which will hurt him in the primaries. He said that his religious beliefs about compassion for the poor were what drove his action on Medicaid expansion, though I doubt that the party hardliners will forgive him for that accommodation to Obamacare.

Meanwhile Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican race and lead the polls. As the first debate draws near on August 6th, the latest top ten averages for participating consists of Trump, Bush, Walker, Rubio, Huckabee, Paul, Carson, Cruz, Christie, and Perry. Kasich is at #12 with 1.6%.

The lowest Perry has an average of just 2.4%, barely separating him from #11 Santorum who has 1.8%. Since the margin of error is around 3%, they are really in the noise range.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    In his favor …, he is not a totally hateful nutso candidate,…

    Why do you think that works in his favor? Do you think someone who is not a totally hateful nutso candidate could win the Republican primary?

  2. tbrandt says

    I have a nerdy quibble with a margin of error of 3% implying that these candidates are all within the noise. A margin of 3% typically applies to 50% of the vote. To give an example:

    2000 voters were polled, and 1000 were in favor of X. The standard error on this is about sqrt(1000), or about 30, i.e., 3% of 1000. Now suppose that 50 voters (2.5%) were in favor of Y. The standard error on this is about sqrt(50), or about 7. Thus, the poll can still find a statistically significant difference between an issue with 3% support and one with 1% support.

    The numbers you quote are averages of five polls, each of which probably had about 2000 respondents. The standard error on a 2% candidate (with 200 supporters out of 10000) is then sqrt(200) = 14, i.e., 2.0% plus or minus 0.14%. Perry and Santorum look to separated by an amount that is statistically significant.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    Charles Krauthammer sez

    This is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years. You could pick a dozen of them at random and have the strongest Cabinet America’s had in our lifetime, and instead all of our time is spent discussing this rodeo clown.


  4. Mano Singham says

    No, they are right. I referred to those other candidates in a previous post last month. Pretty much anyone can declare themselves to be a candidate since the requirements are minimal. But to become considered a ‘serious’ candidate by the media you have to demonstrate that you have a lot of money (Trump or Ross Perot back in 1992), held a significant elected office, or have somehow managed to get a high profile (like Fiorina or Carson).

  5. kyoseki says

    Who’s the closest thing to a serious candidate in the race right now?

    Is there one? Is the entire purpose of this field to make Jeb Bush look like someone we can take seriously?

  6. Mano Singham says

    I think that Jeb Bush has to be the favored candidate since he has the support of the party establishment, a lot of money support, and is considered ‘electable’ in the general election (i.e., is not obviously crazy). It will be interesting to see how the party manages to get rid of his rivals.

    The biggest challenge of the party establishment right now is what to do about Trump because he is undoubtedly a bomb-thrower who could cause a lot of damage. They will not care about his attacks on the minor candidates but his attacks on the ones considered ‘serious’ by the party establishment (Bush and Walker at the moment) will be of concern.

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