Following Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, primary voters rushed to sing the praises of their favorite candidates. For many Americans, however, including one who was on the debate stage, these performances are not expected to change the trajectory of next Tuesday’s delegate-rich, 12-state primary election day.
“Nobody’s going to win but Trump,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich told a CNN reporter just minutes after the debate concluded.
While he predicted brash front-runner Donald Trump will run the tables on March 1, he did acknowledge that there might be one anomaly in Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s home state.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 26, 2016
“Well, look,” Kasich said, “I don’t know that, OK? It’s very, very close.”
Cruz has been leading Trump in several Lone Star State polls this week.
Though Kasich might be writing off many of the delegates up for grabs on Tuesday, he made it clear that he still sees a path to victory for his campaign.
“I will come out of Vermont, Montana, Massachusetts,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of time in Virginia. We hope that those will be productive for us.”
Beyond that, he said he hopes to gain momentum across predominantly northern states, with one Deep South exception.
“And then we’ll move from that to Michigan and Mississippi,” he said, “where we think we’ll have a good shot.”
By the time the primary reaches his home state, Kasich hopes to have already established a dominating campaign.
“When it goes north, when it trends to Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, you know, Michigan, and then over to New York and New Jersey and Connecticut,” he concluded, “who do you think is going to come north and be able to beat me there?”