GOP quietly asking Ohio’s John Kasich to leave race

With the departure of Jeb Bush from the race for the GOP nomination, high-octane donors and supporters hastily converged on Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign. With frontrunner Donald Trump on the verge of all but securing the nomination on Super Tuesday, the GOP establishment is encouraging Gov. John Kasich to exit the race.

“If at some point John were to decide not to go forward with his campaign, Marco would be the primary beneficiary of that decision. It’s not for me or anyone else to say when John should stay in or get out, but John’s decision to stay in or get out could have a marked impact on the race,” said former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

After placing eighth in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, fifth in South Carolina and fifth in Nevada, the conversation regarding Kasich’s future and his impact on the race is growing more frequent and urgent.

A man with a wealth of experience from close to two decades in the House and gripping a handful of heavyweight endorsements of his own in Pennsylvania’s Tom Ridge and Massachusetts’ William Weld, but lacking strong, nationwide organization, Kasich increasingly remains outside of the conversation even as the GOP field shrinks.

“At the end of the day, you have to try to stop Trump, and then you might have to live with Trump. I’m realistic. I think Marco is the best chance to stop Donald Trump, and I certainly think he’s the best candidate of the candidates we have to beat [Hillary] Clinton,” said one longtime GOP fundraiser.

With Super Tuesday fast approaching, many GOP joiners have found the dash to endorse Rubio did not send the right message to Kasich and spare him further annoyance and possible humiliation. Facing eminent defeat on March 1, perhaps crushing defeat, Kasich may well get the message from voters rather than the GOP elite.


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