Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s departure from the presidential race has ended a challenge to John Kasich’s nominating petitions for the Pennsylvania primary, ensuring that Ohio governor will be in the field when the state votes next month.
The Rubio campaign had funded a legal challenge to Kasich’s ballot status, which posed a real threat that he could have been yanked from the ballot. But with Rubio gone, there was little point in continuing the fight, and the court case was withdrawn.
So Kasich will get to compete for votes here. But will he inherit much of Rubio’s base of supporters?There are two views on that.
Fred Anton, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and a longtime Republican donor and fundraiser, is one Rubio supporter who’s now all-in for Kasich.
“I believe that the Rubio supporters, of course, are more moderate, and I think that probably 90 percent of them would be going for Kasich,” Anton told me.
Others aren’t so sure.
While some Rubio supporters might feel more ideologically aligned with Kasich, others who want to stop Donald Trump might be drawn to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s second in delegates and says he’s the only one with a chance to overtake Trump.
Chris Bravacos, who chaired Rubio’s Pennsylvania campaign, said it’s early to make a decision.
“I think it will take a little while for people to figure out if they want to work for another candidate and if so, who,” Bravacos said.
Several other states will have primaries and caucuses before Pennsylvania votes on April 26.