According to The Columbus Dispatch, a new Bloomberg/St. Anselm poll of 400 likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters shows John Kasich tied for fifth place in New Hampshire, a must win firewall for the candidate who has little appeal in Iowa despite his Midwestern roots. (While he has a conservative record on life and marriage, his snarkiness and his refusal to defend Kim Davis is taking a toll among evangelicals and other social conservatives.)
Here’s the good news for Kasich. After running 144 television spots, he has vaulted from 1 percent to 7 percent in the polls. That’s actually the bad news as well. Kasich has retooled his campaign to be about one issue: the ultimate deficit hawk. His town halls are now “balanced budget” town halls.
Well, it has the advantage of being a strategy, but it turns Kasich’s economic message into a process message at a time when voters are experiencing profound and prolonged drops in their standard of living.
Kasich’s latest ad attacks Trump, Carson, and Fiorina as talkers, not doers — meaning he’s running on his record, perhaps his only option, but not a good one in a year where Republican voters are angry at their party and at politicians generally.
Kasich’s fifth place finish — does it mean he’s finished? With all the caveats about how early it is, I think so. When Jeb Bush is beating you in New Hampshire, its time to go home.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.