The New Republic’s Alex Shephard” takes a comprehensive look at the budding bromance between Govs. John Kasich and John Hickenlooper and throws cold water on the notion of a unity ticket for a 2020 third party run.
“Kasich is clearly planning on a run of some kind. The question is whether he’ll mount a primary challenge against Trump or an independent bid. And given the fact that Republican voters roundly rejected Kasich in the last primary—he finished fourth, winning only one state—the latter seems more viable. Last week, Axios reported that Kasich is mulling a third-party “No Labels”-style run in 2020, with Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado as his running mate. But despite Kasich and Hickenlooper’s shared commitment to common-sense politics, their ticket would appeal to a certain subset of the donor class and almost no one else.
“The problem is that politics is minefields. And, as the success of Donald Trump (and on the left, Bernie Sanders) has shown, huge swaths of both parties want sharp-elbowed candidates who wade into these minefields, whether they be immigration or health care. These are issues about which little consensus exists between the two parties.
If Kasich does want to make himself useful, he should primary Trump. It’s unlikely that things would play out any differently in 2020 than they did in 2016. But a primary campaign would damage Trump, maybe fatally. That wouldn’t fulfill anyone’s fantasies about bipartisanship, but it would be useful.”