John Kasich Will Probably Get Mathematically Eliminated Tuesday Even if he Wins Ohio

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich answers a question during a town hall style meeting in Salem, N.H., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

John Kasich likes to say that after he wins Ohio on Tuesday (which is by no means certain but which is looking increasingly likely), he’s going to go on and win the entire nomination. The main person who disagrees with John Kasich is math. In fact, it’s entirely possibly that John Kasich will be outright eliminated from contention for the nomination on Tuesday, even if he wins Ohio. Even if he isn’t mathematically eliminated, however, his elimination will be all but a formality.


Here’s how the math works out. After picking up 9 delegates on Saturday, Kasich has 63 delegates. He needs 1,237 to get the nomination. That means he needs 1,174 delegates in order to win. The problem for Kasich is that there are only 1,404 delegates left to be selected. What that means is that if any person not named John Kasich gets a total of 230 delegates, starting today, Kasich mathematially cannot get the nomination.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Kasich wins Ohio, which is his best possible result. I think even Kasich would concede that he will not win Florida in his wildest dreams, so that means right off the bat that Kasich is down to 131 total delegates that he can lose. Between North Carolina (72), Illinois (69) and Missouri (52), the GOP selects a total of 193 other delegates on Tuesday.

If Kasich doesn’t win at least 62 out of these 193 delegates (32% of the delegates) from NC, IL and MO, he will be mathematically eliminated from contention. The likelihood that Kasich will reach this threshold is vanishingly small. All three states award delegates proportionally, with no minimum threshold, which is counterintuitively bad news for Kasich, since his best chance of getting one third of the delegates from even one of those three states is if one of the other candidates fails to qualify for any delegates at all. Otherwise, Kasich is expected to finish WAY behind at least Trump and Cruz in NC, and polling shows him about even with Cruz and Rubio for second in Illinois. No one really knows what’s going to happen in Missouri except that if Kasich gets 20% of the vote there, it will be a miracle.


The bottom line is that unless Kasich has a miraculously and unexpectedly successful day in North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri on Tuesday, he will be mathematically eliminated from contention in the Republican nomination. So no, Kasich and Kasich supporters, your guy does not have a chance and the narrative he is selling is an absolute lie. If he ever tells you he’s doing anything other than biding his time to a contested convention, know that the numbers say otherwise.


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