John Kasich and his campaign are hoping the big Ohio Primary win will be a game changer for the rest of the race. Kasich’s home state supporters hope the victory will sends a statement to the rest of the country.
Cannons shot out a cloud of confetti to cap a rousing victory speech from John Kasich, sending his supporters home with a renewed spirit and the sense that the tables might be turning in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Veronica Porter hopes that the win in Kasich’s home state can deliver a strong statement to voters in upcoming primaries.
“I really hope that this leads to his momentum knowing that the people in the state of Ohio pick him as our candidate because we know what he’s done for us,” Porter said.
Someone who says he can attest to what Kasich has done for Ohio is Jack McCoy. McCoy, who owns a small lumber business in southern Ohio, says Kasich's brand of leadership would work well in the White House.
“In the state of Ohio we have a tremendous amount of diversity and that’s a reflection again throughout the state. So we have a lot of agricultural industry, all types of high-tech, there’s a lot of diversity in Ohio and so he’s been able to bring those folks together so it should ring well that he’s able to do the same throughout the country,” McCoy said.
From balancing the federal budget to job creation -- Kasich’s record has been the foundation of his campaign ever sense he jumped into the race. The presidential hopeful has tried to separate himself from the pack as someone who has experience of getting things done from the both legislative and executive side.
Supporters say polls in previous primaries have shown that, once people get to hear his message, his numbers start to go up. The win in Ohio suggests that this is a state that’s already familiar with what Kasich can do, that includes Robert Vetrone.
“I think that as people really listen to his message, what he says will really resonate with people across the United States, that’s really what we’re hoping for," Vetrone said. "Yes, he finished strong here but it’s important that he does well in other states as well and we ask that everybody come out and really pay attention to what the governor here has to say.”
Vetrone adds that he’s a registered Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012, but he sees John Kasich as the person who can bring the country together and end the partisan stalemate in D.C.
That’s a similar story for Ray Miles, who’s actually a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. Wearing a “Democrats for Kasich” t-shirt, Miles says he comes to Ohio every four years to campaign for the candidate he believes in the most. Miles was actually in Ohio stumping for Obama the last two presidential elections. This time it’s for Kasich.
“I’m impressed with the fact that he put politics aside to support extra Medicaid for his state, most of the Republican governors wouldn’t do that but he said as a Christian he could do no less," said Miles. "So I figured if he could put politics aside for poor people needing health care, I could put politics aside and be up here for him tonight.”
Miles added that the possibility of Kasich beating Trump in Ohio was a bonus factor.
The GOP front-runner was sort of the unmentioned elephant in the room again. Kasich tends to avoid saying his rival’s name during campaign rallies and the only time the word “Trump” was heard during his victory speech was from a lone protestor in the audience who was quickly ushered out of the building.
Lisa Stickan, a city council member for the Cleveland suburb of Highland Heights, says there’s one big factor separating Kasich from Trump.
“Experience, I mean even though there’s this whole need for a D.C. outsider, John Kasich’s here in Ohio as our governor he’s not in D.C. Now he does have D.C. experience obviously as a congressman and that will serve him when he goes to D.C. to balance the budget again,” said Stickan.
After adding Ohio’s 66 delegates to his pot and Marco Rubio dropping out of the race, Kasich is considered the only so-called establishment candidate left standing, which could make this a whole new race.