The New York Times released an editorial on Saturday announcing their endorsement of Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich while also endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. The Kasich campaign was quick to capitalize on the editorial. When asked if an endorsement from the paper, known for its stereotypically liberal readership, would help him with Republican voters Kasich told reporters it was about bringing people together. “When people like The New York Times say, ‘This is a guy that can bring people together and solve problems,’ I’d like to know how that’s not helpful. I think it’s really helpful.”
Kasich has bet his candidacy on the small state of New Hampshire, spending more time here than any other candidate, according to New England Channel News’ candidate tracker. He left Iowa four days before the caucus there for a final 11-day swing leading up to New Hampshire’s primary. Progressive radio show host Arnie Arnesen bets that undeclared voters could be just the edge he’s looking for against the other “governing” candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Arnesen thinks that Donald Trump’s dominance in the race has actually been a blessing-of-sorts for Kasich, scooping up hard line anti-establishment and conservative voters and leaving truly independent voters looking for a centrist candidate with experience.
The latest public poll from Suffolk University shows him tied for second place with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. However other polls show Kasich tied with a cluster of candidates including Cruz, Bush, Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio vying for space below front-runner Donald Trump, many within the margin of error of one another. The NYT editorial board praised Kasich in the article for his expansion of Medicaid coverage in his state.
Still, as a veteran of partisan fights and bipartisan deals during nearly two decades in the House, he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives. He favors a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and he speaks of government’s duty to protect the poor, the mentally ill and others “in the shadows.” While Republicans in Congress tried more than 60 times to kill Obamacare, Mr. Kasich did an end-run around Ohio’s Republican Legislature to secure a $13 billion Medicaid expansion to cover more people in his state.
While Kasich has so far highlighted the “positive” message of his campaign, he also has become embroiled in a fight with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, another establishment candidate. A super PAC backing Bush has run television ads in New Hampshire highlighting what they say is Kasich’s record of expanding Medicaid in Ohio, and calling him outside of Republican orthodoxy.
The board praised Clinton’s term as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, and said she had shown a lifelong commitment to American workers, particularly women. The board criticized her as too quick to propose using military force abroad, but said she still would be a better military leader than her Republican rivals.