Republican Party

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Kentucky's Rand Paul and Ohio's John Kasich - specifically, what the polling in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire have to say about them.

Can the Republicans win the White House without winning Ohio next year?

Conventional wisdom (not to mention history, which is a better guide) says, no, they can’t. No Republican president – and we’re going back to the very first, Abraham Lincoln – has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

In fact, the way the electoral college map skews toward Democratic presidential candidates, most political analysts see the Republican nominee coming up short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win without taking both Ohio and Florida.

Still we wait. Like Vladimir and Estragon in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” waiting for the Kasich presidential candidacy to arrive.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has done everything a presidential candidate should do, except for one – announce his candidacy.

He’s showed up in early primary and caucus states, like South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After spending time in the key presidential primary state of New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich took more questions about his possible presidential campaign on national TV this weekend.

It comes amid increasing signs that he is serious about running.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday - where 16 years ago Kasich announced he’d formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 1999 – Kasich said he still hadn’t decided, but was weighing his options with two main thoughts in mind.

Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul, has been off and running (officially) for the Republican presidential nomination for nearly a week now.

He has, in fact, been running for several years, but he made it official last week with his “Stand with Rand” tour through early primary and caucus states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada.

So, how about the Tristate’s two potential Republican presidential candidates, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ohio governor John Kasich? What kind of week did -they have, you ask?

Well, not so great. At least as it relates to whatever presidential ambitions they have.

Kasich was the victim of polls in key states that show pretty clearly that, as a potential candidate, he ranks at or near the bottom of the list among GOP voters in some important battleground states; and doesn’t exactly set the world on fire among Ohio Republican voters either.

The buzz from Washington about Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, running for the Republican presidential nomination has flared up again.

And the Terrace Park Republican has done nothing to put out the fire.

He is reportedly considering setting up a presidential exploratory committee sometime after the November election, using as seed money his Senate campaign fund, which will probably be about $6 million by the end of the year.

Official portrait

Kentucky's junior senator, Rand Paul, finished third among a group of eight potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates, according to a poll released this week.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed among 712 voters who described themselves as Republicans Paul had 15 percent support for the GOP nomination, bested only by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida (19 percent) and the 2012 vice presidential nominee, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan (17 percent).

Michael E. Keating

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will take a break from selling his budget plan to the state legislature Monday night when he comes to Cincinnati to be the keynote speaker at the Hamilton County Republican Party's annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner.

The dinner and program begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Junior Ballroom of the Duke Energy Convention Center downtown, with the governor making his speech a half hour later.

The Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner is one of the party's major fundraising events of the year. This year, ticket prices begin at $75 for individuals and $750 for a table of 10.

Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican who has hinted at a possible run for the presidency in 2016, will be the featured speaker next month at the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club's annual pancake breakfast.

Paul - the son of former Libertarian and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul - has been dropping broad hints about 2016, but that year is also the year when his U.S. Senate seat is up for re-election. And, under Kentucky election law, Paul would have to choose one or the other.

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