NY Daily News endorses Kasich

The New York Daily News editorial board endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the GOP presidential race, calling Kasich a mature and pragmatic candidate — especially next to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE.

The board urges New York’s 2.7 million registered Republicans to “break the fever” in the GOP by voting for Kasich and says either a Trump or Cruz administration would be "disastrous."

“Both men would be disastrous as President — Cruz because he is an absolutist ideologue, Trump because he suffers from the irreparable, disqualifying defect of being Trump,” the piece reads. 

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The board says the appeal of Trump, “the Kool-Aid of a candidate,” is waning and says Kasich, while initially overlooked on debate stages, deserves support for his experience and conservative beliefs.

“Although far out of sync with the Daily News’ philosophy, all of that says Kasich’s presidential plans should please the GOP conservative faithful,” the editorial board writes. “At the same time, in an era frozen by dogma, he stands out for understanding that progress in a democracy can demand compromise.” 

The paper argues that Cruz’s “destructive, self-promoting stunts” would hobble his ability to get things done as president. And the piece spends many paragraphs lambasting Trump, calling him “a self-loving egotist, demagogue and bully who suffers from severe deficits of wisdom and maturity.”

“Whatever the issue, Kasich holds the promise of getting the job of governing done, where Cruz and Trump do not,” the board writes.

The endorsement also points to general election polling that shows Kasich as the only GOP candidate capable of beating Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE.

“[Kasich] would well represent the Republican Party in November (when a contest with Clinton would be welcome) and second because every vote for Kasich is a vote against a recklessly arrogant man who would demean the highest office in the land.”

Donald Trump is way ahead in polling in his home state ahead of the April 19 primary. Kasich is ahead of Cruz by about 4 percentage points, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average.