There's really only one question to be asked in response: Why?:
More than a half-dozen other candidates are battling for survival....
And have nominal to enormously better of a chance at the nomination than Governor Huntsman, um, Kasich does.
Jeb Bush has failed to ignite much support, but at least he has criticized the bigotry of Mr. Trump and the warmongering of Mr. Cruz.
The Times would be endorsing Jeb if his surname wasn't "Bush". And they hate Ted Cruz. But then, so does just about everybody else.
Senator Marco Rubio, currently embracing the alarmist views of the front-runners, seems to have forgotten his more positive “New American Century” campaign, based on helping the middle-class.
Seeing as how Rubio hasn't changed his "New American Century" campaign one jot or tittle, I have no idea what the Times is talking about here.
The terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino exposed Ben Carson’s inability to grasp the world.
Which leads to Senator Cruz's "warmongering," actually.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has said he would shoot down Russian planes, engage with the dead king of Jordan and bar refugees, including orphaned Syrian toddlers.
Especially the six-foot tall "Syrian toddlers".
Governor John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race. And Mr. Kasich is no moderate. As governor, he’s gone after public-sector unions, fought to limit abortion rights and opposed [sodo]marriage.
And embraced amnesty and ObamaCare and expanded Medicaid, among other heresies, claiming that anybody who opposed either was "violating God's will". Which is what makes Kasich "plausible" to the Times. As they define it, "The least Republican candidate in the GOP field except for Donald Trump, who's actually a Democrat".
It sure makes their lame attempt to put Kasich over as "no moderate" look awfully lame, preparatory to their long exposition bolstering the fact that he's precisely that:
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 [illegal alien]s, 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 sixty 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.
But he's "no moderate".
If they wanted the Ohio governor to have a "plausible" chance at the GOP nomination, they would, of course, not be endorsing him. That they are endorsing him tells us foir whom the Times is REALLY rooting....
.....or they and their media fellow-travelers wouldn't be feeding The Donald more free media than he could ever buy or even afford.
Exit question: If the Times had been honest and endorsed Trump - which is, or at least always had been in the past, the political equivalent of catching herpes - how long do you think it would have taken him to tweetstorm the bragging about that endorsement? And how many points hire would it boost him in the polls?