Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday that he doubts any of the four remaining candidates can win the 1,237 delegates needed to become the GOP nominee and that a contested convention is the likeliest outcome.
“We’ve picked about half the delegates, and we have, of course, the other half to go,” Kasich responded. “And there was this poll today … Trump was at 27, Cruz was at 25 and I was at 24, so it’s really, really jammed and close. I think anything is possible this year that someone could get there. It’s possible, but probably not.”
Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBannon's ex-wife: 'He didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews' Trump's son shares photo after rescuing baby deer Kasich: I don't know what we're hearing from Trump on immigration MORE currently leads in the delegates race with 458, followed by Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: On the fringe FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton links Trump to 'alt-right' in Reno Presidential hopefuls still bank on retail politics MORE (Texas) at 359, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioLatino Republicans split on Trump's outreach Illegal immigration foe: Trump shift the 'death knell of his candidacy' Analysis: Clinton speaks at higher grade level than Trump MORE (Fla.) at 151 and Kasich at 54.
Some of those who oppose Trump believe the best way to stop him from becoming the nominee is for two candidates to drop out, setting up a one-on-one race to 1,237 that could be settled before the convention.
But others believe the best way to stop him is if all of the candidates stay in the race and pick up delegates here or there, keeping Trump from attaining the 1,237 needed to win and forcing a contested convention.
More will be known on March 15. That’s when the first two winner-take-all contests will take place in Florida — Rubio’s home state, where 99 delegates are at stake — and Ohio, Kasich’s home turf, where 66 delegates are up for grabs.
Polls show a tight race in Ohio, while Trump is the heavy favorite in Florida.
If Kasich and Rubio can repel Trump, they’re likely to stay in and the four-way contest could go all the way to the convention. If Trump wins in both, many believe it will just be a matter of time before he accumulates the 1,237 to win.
Of course, Trump is still the favorite to win outright even if all four candidates stay in the race.
Kasich said Wednesday he doesn’t believe a contested convention would split the party, noting that he worked for Ronald Reagan when the former president lost the last contested convention to Gerald Ford in 1976.
“We lost and we left the country united,” Kasich said. “Ford was a great president … It was fine because I think at a convention the delegates are very serious about picking someone that can be commander in chief and president of the United States.”