Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich may be riding a wave of newfound popularity in the national polls of Republican primary voters. But in the Arizona primary on Tuesday, he came fourth in a three-person race.
Kasich won 52,462 votes (10.0%), with 94.4% of precincts reporting. That was significantly behind Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who won 70,515 votes (13.4%), largely due to early voting.
According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, early voting in the state’s presidential preference primary began on Feb. 24 — nearly a full three weeks before Rubio dropped out of the presidential race on Mar. 15. Early voting only ended Mar. 18 in Arizona.
Even if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had won all of Rubio’s votes, he would not have overcome a deficit of nearly 120,000 votes to catch Donald Trump, who won the state with 47.1% of the vote to Cruz’s 24.8%.
Likewise, if Kasich had won all of Rubio’s votes, he would not have passed Cruz — though he would have come close.
If Cruz had won all of Rubio’s and Kasich’s votes together, however, he would have defeated Trump in Arizona.
Kasich’s thumping victory in Ohio on Mar. 15 secured his place among the Republican finalists. His popularity has soared as he has positioned himself as an alternative to both Trump and Cruz, noting that he is the last governor in the race.
However, he has been criticized for acting as a spoiler.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.