Tony Dejak / AP

John Kasich says he's not running for president. His allies, however, are building vehicles that could easily shift into a primary campaign against President Trump for the 2020 election.

Using the word "patient" to describe the Ohio Governor, a friend of Kasich's said the constellation of groups being set up and maintained on Kasich's behalf are the types of entities that "are often the backbone or foundation for presidential campaigns."

He added: "No one could predict the last two years. So who's going to predict the next two years?"

On Friday, Kasich's top political advisers announced they have formed a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization, called Two Paths America, that "was inspired by the imagery and rhetoric" of Kasich's description of "the public policy choices facing us and the need to take the higher path."

The group will focus on fiscal responsibility — a balanced budget — and other top Kasich issues including healthcare reform, "a cogent national security policy that is values based," and "bringing citizenship and collegiality and working to solve problems in neighborhoods and towns across the country," said the friend.

What Kasich's allies are doing:

  • Setting up the non-profit, Two Paths America
  • Releasing in April a book called "Two Paths," which the Washington Post billed as "a book offering a contrast to Trump's America"
  • Keeping alive Kasich's campaign super-PAC, New Day for America
  • Keeping alive Kasich for America, which is now a multi candidate committee he uses to campaign for Republicans

What Kasich is saying: Kasich leaves office in January 2019. Last month he did an interview with the Washington Post's Robert Costa in which he said Trump's travel ban was "ham-handed" and "sent a message that somehow the United States was looking sideways at Muslims." In the same interview, Kasich dismissed the notion of a major Republican figure launching a 2020 primary run against Trump. Kasich said: "That question is so out there it doesn't even dignify a response."

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