Well, at least this SOB actually ran in the primaries/cauci and has actually earned some votes (almost three million) and delegates (143). And he does have the argument of being the most electable of the Big Two and, um, him.
HuffPo's Seth Abramson has an eight bullet-point bridge to President Kasich....
....let's examine it, shall we?:
1) Donald Trump needs 1,237 delegates to win on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and not only will he not get to that figure prior to the convention — he’d need to win well over 50% of the remaining delegates to do so....
55% after Wisconsin, actually.
....and even during his current run as front-runner he’s only won 46% of delegates — he won’t even get close enough to that mark to pass it via uncommitted delegates at the convention.
True. Though that's an argument for Ted Cruz winning, not Kasich.
2) Ted Cruz and John Kasich staying in the race through Cleveland not only will ensure that Trump can’t get close to 1,237 delegates via primary and caucus votes, it will also ensure that both men have a reasonable delegate total by the time they arrive at the convention — more than enough to keep both of them in the picture in the view of convention delegates.
Cruz will have around a thousand delegates at the end of the primary season; Kasich will do well to exceed the two hundred threshold. It seems to me Cruz's delegate total will be a helluva lot more "reasonable" than Kasich's.
3) Republican Party elders have more than enough clout to make sure that “Rule 40(b)” gets changed prior to or at the convention, thereby enabling Republicans like John Kasich who haven’t won a majority of delegates in eight States to nevertheless be considered for the nomination.
Perhaps. That rule was promulgated four years ago by Team Romney to keep the Paulnuts from hijacking the convention. What the "establishment" giveth, the "establishment" can taketh away. Though, again, I think that TrumpTrain and the "CruzCrew," who will have both exceeded that eight-State threshold, will have an awful lot to say about it.
4) After the first ballot in Cleveland — during which no candidate will have the required delegates for nomination — most of the delegates will be free to vote for whomever they wish, and while Ted Cruz has craftily planted his supporters in many delegations, it’s not nearly enough to get him to 1,237 delegates on the second ballot.
Says who? It sounds like Abramson hasn't been paying attention, perhaps even to the delegate count and the direction in which that scoreboard is heading. It's simple arithmetic: If Trump falls, say, a hundred delegates short, and Marco Rubio's still-retained 171 delegates can't increase, and Kasich's 143 aren't going to budge upward much, then Cruz has to end up with somewhere around a thousand. And that puts him within 150 or so of Trump and 250 or so of the nomination. All he would need is five Trump delegate flips per State, and he turned ten in Louisiana alone.
5) Whereas Ted Cruz is loathed by the Republican Party elite, has lost to Hillary Clinton in head-to-head polls 55% of the time since November 2015, and has no actual accomplishments in government to point to, John Kasich hasn’t lost a single head-to-head poll to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is broadly if imperfectly acceptable to both Party elites and movement conservatives, and is far and away the most accomplished Republican primary candidate left.
In other words, Kasich is a governor. I've made that argument many times myself over the years. Which is why we should be talking about a Walker-Hillary race right now, or Perry-Hillary, or Jindal-Hillary. But those aren't the lottery balls we drew.
I also get and acknowledge the electability argument, though Abramson could have mentioned that Cruz is vastly more electable than Trump is.
But here's the problem, Seth. John Kasich is manifestly NOT acceptable, imperfectly or otherwise, to movement conservatives or Trumplicans, i.e. Cruz supporters and Trump supporters. He's the sanctimonious RINO John Huntsman of 2016. If the "party elders" tried to sweep both aside in favor of Kasich, it would have the exact same effect as parachuting in a "white knight savior"....
....and this is why Abramson's crystal ball is cracked.
But let's finish out the string.
6) Marco Rubio has deliberately held onto his 171 delegates so that he can create a unity ticket with John Kasich in Cleveland — a ticket that will begin with somewhere between 350 and 600 delegates on the first ballot at the convention, depending upon how many delegates John Kasich wins going forward.
Alright, where the hell did THIS crazy idea come from, besides Abramson's bunghole? Show me one scintilla of evidence that there's ever been a supersecret Rubio-Kasich cabal at any time in this entire primary campaign. It's pure wishcasting.
Although at least he does make an attempt to conjure up a way to make Kasich's delegate total a little more "reasonable". Though the combined delgate total of the two also-rans would definitely be at the bottom end of that range. And that's assuming Rubio's don't go largely or entirely to Cruz.
Which brings us to another example of Abramson watching an entirely different primary campaign than I have been, or at least the same one only up to March 1st:
7) Rubio is certain not to give his delegates away for free, nor to give them to his arch-enemies Cruz or Trump, nor to — as some suppose — merely fade into the background when he was and remains among the most ambitious politicians in the Republican Party.
One, Cruz and Rubio joined forces a month ago, belatedly, as was day-glo obvious from the final three debates where they delightfully double-teamed Trump. If the point is to stop the New York liberal conman, why in the blue hell would Rubio send his delegates to Kasich? Hell, he might as well hang on to them if he's going to just waste them.
And two, if Rubes is among the most ambitious politicians in the Republican Party, why is he quitting his Senate seat? Maybe he'll run for governor of Florida in 2018, but having already taken a crack at the presidency and fallen so miserably short of it, how likely is it he'd try again?
8) A Kasich/Rubio ticket would appeal to both mainstream Republicans (Kasich) and Tea Partiers (Rubio), to both white and Latino voters, to younger voters who want to see someone relatively young on the ticket, to those looking for a ticket whose members run the gamut from executive to legislative experience at both the State and federal levels, and to those who believe all members of a presidential ticket should hail from a major battleground State.
This argument would have made a lot of sense....ten months ago, before the metastisization of the cancer of Trumpmania. But then ten months ago we'd have been talking about a Walker-Rubio ticket - like I did....ten months ago. But not now, and not Kasich. Or Rubio, either, since a Cruz-Rubio ticket would be redundant, and Rubes is a #NeverTrumper.
Sorry, Seth, but it's going to be either Trump or Cruz. And I emphatically recommend Cruz. He is, after all, the last #NeverTrump game in town.