Ohio Gov. John Kasich will appear on the ballot for Pennsylvania’s Republican presidential primary on April 26 after Donald Trump erroneously claimed that Kasich is ineligible to run in the state.
Trump made the claim on Sunday afternoon in a 25-word message from his Twitter feed.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State has certified that Kasich will appear on the Pennsylvania ballot along with Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] and Trump, a New York businessman.
Kasich’s eligibility to appear on the ballot in the Keystone State came theoretically into question after a litigant acting on behalf of withdrawn Republican presidential candidate [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] challenged the number of petitions Kasich had collected.
The Rubio supporter, student Nathaniel Rome, has voluntarily dismissed his own court filing against the Kasich campaign through his attorney, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The Kasich campaign expressed a sense of vindication.
“We said all along that we were going to be on the ballot in Pennsylvania,” Kasich campaign press secretary Rob Nichols said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “We are on the ballot in Pennsylvania and, given the fact that Governor Kasich lived eighteen years of his life in Pennsylvania, we are confident that we’re going to perform very well in Pennsylvania.”
Kasich’s campaign also charged that Trump blatantly lied to voters.
“Trump is lying to Ohioans, and we are consulting with our lawyers on our next steps,” Nichols said in an earlier statement. “We are 100 percent certain that John Kasich will be on the ballot in Pennsylvania.”
“Trump’s dishonest tweets and robocalls means his team either knows nothing about Pennsylvania election law or he’s just scared to death we’re going to beat him,” Nichols also said. “Donald Trump continues to play gutter politics. America deserves better and he owes Ohioans an apology for lying to them.”
A “ballot update” from Kasich’s staff charged Trump with “the same kind of dishonest, underhanded tactic that Sen. Ted Cruz pulled against Dr. Ben Carson in Iowa and for which he was forced to apologize.”
The Kasich campaign is fighting with the Cruz and Trump campaigns to pick up voters who had supported Rubio before he dropped out earlier this week.
A statewide poll of registered voters conducted by Mercyhurst University shows Kasich leading presumptive Democratic presidential nominee by 49-36 percent in a general election matchup in Pennsylvania. In the same poll, Trump trails Clinton 35-43.
Recent Pennsylvania primary polling data suggests that Trump leads with 36 percent of the vote. Cruz and Kasich are tied at 16 percent each. However — and this is a big however — the poll has Rubio at 18.5 percent and it was conducted before Rubio suspended his campaign.
Despite Trump’s protestations earlier this week that Kasich should not be allowed to run for the president in the state where Kasich is currently the sitting governor, Kasich won the Ohio Republican primary with 46 percent of the vote. He won all 66 delegates at stake.
Pennsylvania’s Republican primary is a winner-take-all affair that is closed to independent voters.