How old is John Kasich

BACKGROUND-John Kasich - The last joker of Trump opponents

Berea / Berlin (Reuters) - More than half of all US states have already decided which Republicans they would like to send as candidates for the November 8 presidential election.

First of all, John Kasich was at the top of the podium. That's nothing compared to Donald Trump, who has triumphed 19 times so far. And yet, overnight, the Ohio governor has become the last hope of the Republican elite in their battle against a nomination for the New York billionaire.

After Marco Rubio's withdrawal, Kasich is the only remaining representative of the moderate party wing in the running for the candidacy. Many leading Republicans still believe that an election against the Democrats can only be won if you also reach the political center. With Trump, who often appears provocatively, or his most successful rival to date, the arch-conservative Senator Ted Cruz, in their opinion this cannot be achieved.

Kasich got the decisive boost in the primaries on Tuesday evening. The 63-year-old won in his home state of Ohio, doubling the number of delegates in one fell swoop. On paper, he is still far behind Trump. It is also practically hopeless that by the end of the pre-election marathon on June 7th, he will achieve the majority of delegates necessary for a secure nomination. But as long as Kasich stays in the race, he could become a threat to Trump. Kasich speculates on that. If none of the applicants reaches the necessary threshold of 1,237 delegates, the decision will be made at the party conference in Cleveland in July. And here the well-connected Kasich pays his chances: "We will go all the way to Cleveland and secure the nomination."

Unlike the political outsider Trump and Cruz, who is controversial because of his proximity to the tea party movement, many in the Republican establishment trust the political veteran Kasich to recapture the White House. They primarily rely on his experience, which dates back to the late 1970s when he entered the Ohio Senate at the age of 26. This was followed by 18 years as a Congressman in Washington. After several years as an investment banker, Kasich returned to the political scene in 2010 with his victory in the Ohio gubernatorial election. Four years later he was confirmed in office by a large majority. "You look at this guy, and unlike the other applicants, he has a real track record," says Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee. You want to see someone like that in Washington.

"TROUBLE WALLS"

But Kasich is also aware that being too close to the party elite does not only bring him plus points. The primaries have shown that on the grassroots level, especially among the Republicans, anger at the politicians in Washington dominates. Many voters do not trust them and have the feeling that their dream of prosperity has long since been shattered. Trump benefits from this with his promise to make America great again. Kasich therefore likes to portray himself as a politician who “tears down walls” and then reforms from within.

In terms of content, he is by no means afraid to touch hot irons. In Ohio, for example, he expanded the health insurance system as part of President Barack Obama's health care reform, which many Republicans hated. Kasich says this is the right decision for the benefit of poorer Americans. He accepts gay marriage, but emphasizes in the election campaign how important belief in God is. He is in favor of legalizing the status of non-resident immigrants. But he's also building a fence on the border with Mexico.

The "New York Times" certified him in January compromise and therefore saw him as the best candidate of the Republicans. His victory in Ohio should bring him more donations. There may be enough momentum to win in key states such as Pennsylvania and California, where it is already doing well in polls. But if Trump continues to cough up as before, some in the establishment will think twice about whether he is really pushing Kasich through against the will of the grassroots. Trump is already warning: If he is refused candidacy, there will be riots: "I represent many, many millions of people."