John Kasich will end his presidential campaign Wednesday evening, according to breaking news reports.
Speculation about the move began flying once the Ohio governor canceled a press conference in Virginia and announced a 5 PM event in his home state. Now, Politico writes that an inside campaign source confirms Kasich will drop out: “John Kasich is dropping his presidential bid, according to a senior campaign adviser, one day after Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee and Ted Cruz bowed out of the race.”
Kasich press conference in Virginia has been canceled. Statement in Columbus at 5pm.
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) May 4, 2016
Kasich had long been mathematically eliminated from winning the presidential nomination on the first ballot of Cleveland’s Republican National Convention this coming July in Cleveland. Still, he campaigned onward — alongside Sen. Ted Cruz — in the hope of stopping frontrunner Donald Trump from reaching 1,237 pledged delegates and making his move at a contested convention.
Kasich and Cruz attempted a strategy of focusing their campaigns on states where they were most competitive on Trump; that alliance faced its first test in Indiana’s Republican primary Tuesday, where Kasich withdrew resources and allowed Cruz to attempt a one-on-one matchup. Trump won the state by 180,000 votes and is expected to sweep all of its 57 delegates. This prompted Cruz to announce the end of his presidential campaign.
After Cruz suspended his run, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the party’s “presumptive nominee.” Trump will now easily reach the 1,237 threshold to capture a majority of pledged delegates before the Cleveland convention.
The Associated Press reports:
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich is leaving the Republican presidential contest, giving Donald Trump a clear path to his party’s nomination.
Kasich will announce the end of his underdog White House bid on Wednesday, according to three campaign officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the candidate’s plans. The decision comes a day after Trump’s only other rival, Ted Cruz, dropped out.
With no opponents left in the race, Trump becomes the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee to take on the Democratic nominee in November – presumably Hillary Clinton.
Though armed with an extensive resume in politics, the second-term Ohio governor struggled to connect with Republican primary voters in a year dominated by anti-establishment frustration. Kasich was a more moderate candidate who embraced elements of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and called for an optimistic and proactive Republican agenda.