In a conference call Monday night with supporters, John Kasich’s campaign team emphasized the Ohio governor’s ability to win in the general election as a selling point for potential delegates in both past and upcoming states, per a source on the call.
Kasich remains in fourth place in the delegate count, still trailing Marco Rubio by 23 delegates. As his campaign seeks to woo delegates in the lead up to the convention, his electability in November, where polls show him to be a more successful candidate against Hillary Clinton than either Cruz or Trump, is a major selling point.
The call with strategists and supporters is an occasional event, per the source — Kasich campaign manager John Weaver tweeted about it, publicizing it— but there was an expanded guest list Monday night, including supporters and potential delegates from states holding primaries over the next several weeks.
On the call, Kasich’s team also stated that Rule 40, which requires a candidate to have won a majority of delegates in eight states in order to be eligible to win the nomination, would not be a barrier for Kasich because the Rules Committee will meet anew to determine the rules for Cleveland. Kasich has won only his home state of Ohio, and has not received a majority of delegates in any other state.
Kasich has openly acknowledged that he has no path to get the 1237 delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention — and that he may well arrive at the convention with fewer delegates than his opponents. But, his campaign argued tonight, Cruz does not have a path to 1237 either, based on the number of delegates left and Cruz’s relative strength in the remaining primary states. In a number of upcoming states like Pennsylvania, New York, and several others along the Northeast Corridor, Kasich’s campaign believes they can best Cruz. What’s more, the campaign emphasized its strategy of targeting specific congressional districts, which will allow Kasich to rack up delegates regardless of the overall vote totals. That strategy was much-discussed earlier in the day Monday, when the Kasich campaign reallocated its spending on media buys in Wisconsin. Kasich polls in third behind Cruz and Trump in recent Wisconsin primary polls.