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John Kasich Predicts A Contested Republican Convention

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 6/03/2016 Ariel Edwards-Levy
ATHENA IMAGE © Alex Wong via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

The GOP primary could end in a contested convention this summer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich predicted Sunday.

The Republican candidate, who's running at a distant fourth place in national polls, laid out the challenging math for any of Donald Trump's rivals hoping to win outright -- but predicted that Trump would also fall short of clinching the nomination.

"No one is going to have the numbers," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "I would have to win 68 percent of the remaining contests, OK, 68 percent of the remaining delegates. Marco [Rubio] would have to win like 64. Ted [Cruz] would have to win like 60. Donald Trump's going to fall short. This is the way it's going."

"Now, if Trump, you know, wins all the rest of these things, he'll go to the convention with the right numbers. But if he doesn't have the right numbers, then we're in a multi-ballot convention," Kasich continued. "Is there anything else to be expected with the way things have gone this year?"

The Ohio governor made a similar prediction Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that a convention showdown was likely.

“It has to be done fairly,” he said. “You have to do it right, you can’t have a bunch of people in smoke-filled rooms. My only fear of a convention is that these connected interests would dominate.”

Kasich once again took a stab at painting himself as an outsider on Sunday, denouncing the idea of letting "a bunch of Washington insiders pick the nominee," and claiming that he'd have no chance because "they don't like me."

But he gamely went on to sell the prospect of a contested convention as an exciting civics lesson, rather than a sign of Republican disarray.

"Think about how much education our kids are going to get about the way in which we pick a president," he said, arguing that kids are "spending their time, you know, looking at some of these Hollywood stars. There's nothing wrong with that. But now they're going to spend more time thinking about how we pick a president."

While the possibility of a contested convention seems to surface during every presidential election, they're far more rare in practice -- although this year could prove the exception. Historically, having to cast multiple convention ballots doesn't augur well for a party's chances in the general election.

Also speaking on ABC, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus downplayed the notion, saying it was "premature" to discuss the possibility of a convention fight.

"I just don't see that happening," he said. "It doesn't mean it's impossible, it just means that you don't know what next week is going to bring, or the week after, or a month from now. I would say that if we have an interview in a month and it's still some sort of tied scenario, then I think people start talking about it more clearly."

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