CLEVELAND, Ohio — Governor John Kasich won the state of Ohio Tuesday night, blunting Donald Trump’s momentum in the GOP primary. Kasich garnered 57 percent of GOP primary voters to Trump’s 34 percent, giving Kasich all 66 of the Buckeye State’s “winner take all” delegation.
“We’re going to be working all across this country,” Kasich said after the race was called in his favor.
“People counted me out,” he said to his supporters, noting how seldom he has been called on in the most recent GOP debates.
“Forget the politics. Forget the pollsters. Forget all the focus groups,” Kasich reminded the cheering crowd.
“As I travel the country and I look into your eyes, you want to believe. You want to believe again that we can have job security. You want to believe again that wages can rise,” he said.
“You want to believe that your children are going to have ultimately a better America than what we got from our mothers and fathers. That’s the great American legacy. That our kids will be better than we are.”
Kasich’s win means the Republican Party could face a brokered convention in August, when delegates meet to cast their votes for the GOP presidential nominee. The Ohio Republican had help from GOP 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney yesterday who has not endorsed Kasich but is aiding certain candidates in different states who are most likely to beat Trump.
“You’d better believe it’s about pulling us together, not pulling us apart,” Kasich extolled, referencing his positive campaign messaging style as opposed to the more abrasive Trump.
“And I want to remind you again tonight that I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.”
The crowd of hundreds chanted “Ka-sich! Ka-sich!,” As the governor said, “I want you to know something, we are going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the Republican nomination.”
One protester appeared in the middle of Kasich’s remarks and shouted Trump’s name. Kasich made light of the incident as the protester was taken out of the area.
“We’re excited. He’s a good governor with a high approval rating. It was a good night for us–hard work. Ohioans do love their governor and, honestly, it’s a good finish for him because he does work a great ground game in Ohio,” Cleveland City Councilwoman Lisa Stickan told The Daily Caller. “He’s very popular here. This is a very important state. If the election is a wedding this is the bouquet.”
Although Kasich is still far behind Trump, who won Florida Tuesday, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he still plans to make it to the convention, betting that it will be brokered. Florida Sen Marco Rubio announced he was suspending his campaign after the loss in his home state.
“The rules committee will be all powerful,” Kasich’s top campaign strategist, John Weaver, told The Columbus Dispatch.
“This [a brokered convention] happened eight times before in American history, and six times the people who had the most delegates didn’t win their party’s nomination,” Weaver said.