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Kasich "already running" for 2020

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (right) and former Vice President Biden laugh during a discussion on bridging partisan divides. Photo: Patrick Semansky / AP

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), "whose final term as governor ends in 2018 ... knows he faces a strategic imperative: He must dramatically expand his name recognition in this fallow period before the next race begins," New York magazine's Lisa Miller writes:

Why it matters: "Kasich 2020 is not just a media proposition. Kasich is a sitting governor exploring a run against a president of his own party — a starkly unusual circumstance. He retains a skeletal campaign staff, and they are helping him to think through his options: Should he run as a Republican in the primaries or as an Independent in the general election?"

  • "A primary run is plausible, strategists say, if Trump's approval ratings among Republicans fall below the high 70s, where they've been, and Democrats prevail during the midterms, signaling a loosening of the stranglehold of the far-right base on the party."
  • "A third-party run is optimal if the major-party candidates represent ideological extremes."