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Government/Politics

Kasich's Departure Doesn't Mean An Easy Campaign For Republicans This Fall, Says Expert

portman_kasich_hug_march_2016.jpg
Andy Chow
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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) hugs Gov. John Kasich at a rally before the Ohio presidential primary in March 2016.

Republican officeholders have started to turn toward Donald Trump as their party’s likely nominee for president, now that Gov. John Kasich has left the race. But one expert says it could still be a tough campaign ahead.

Kasich’s only primary win was in Ohio, which suggests Trump might have trouble here. University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven says that Republicans hoping to see incumbent Sen. Rob Portman re-elected need to consider running two campaigns when Trump campaigns here. “It would be hard for anybody, but Rob Portman would be to sort of command the state’s attention over Donald Trump? None of the other candidates for president was able to do it.”

Niven notes that over the last 40 years, turnout has been highest when the approval ratings for the candidates is lowest – and with both Trump and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with the highest unfavorability ratings in history, this fall could bring a record turnout.

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