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John Kasich Goes Off On ‘Absurd’ Arguments For Him To Drop Out Of Presidential Race

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 27/03/2016 Daniel Marans
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) angrily rejected Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) calls for him to abandon the presidential race, insisting that he is the only Republican who can win in a general election.

“I’m beating Hillary by 11 points, I’m the only one who can win in the fall and, as you noticed, the narrative over the last week has been, ‘What is wrong with the party? Kasich’s the guy who can win the general,’” Kasich told Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Some people have said, ‘Kasich would be the best president.’”

Kasich indeed leads Hillary Clinton in a general election matchup, but by 4.5 points, according to HuffPost Pollster’s polling average . Cruz and Donald Trump consistently trail Clinton in the polls.

“It’s absurd,” Kasich later said of requests for him to leave the field. “You know, if you really want, let them consolidate behind me, because frankly I’m the one that can win in the fall and I’m the one that can get the crossover votes.”

Kasich also said if he'd listened to earlier calls to drop out, he would not have won Ohio on March 15, which he said would have allowed Trump to win the nomination outright by now.

“If I had gotten out, Trump would be the nominee, he would have won Ohio,” Kasich said.

Kasich has only won Ohio to date and acknowledges that he has no chance of winning a majority of delegates before the party’s national convention in July. He hopes to win in a brokered convention by picking up unbound delegates after the first round of voting.

But it is not clear how effective that strategy is if Kasich does not show that he can win states besides the one he governs.

Kasich said on Sunday that he expects to have a decent showing in the April 5 Republican primary in Wisconsin, though that would have only symbolic significance since it is a winner-take-all state. And he is optimistic about his chances of picking up delegates in New York on April 19 and winning Pennsylvania on April 26.

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