Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential hopes ended some months ago, and Wednesday he finally appears to be acknowledging that. As NBC News first reported, Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign later this afternoon in Columbus, Ohio.
Kasich had vowed to soldier onward Tuesday night, even after Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out. Just a few hours ago, Kasich’s team released a Star Wars–themed video describing him as the party’s “only hope.” Kasich was scheduled to host a press conference in Northern Virginia on Wednesday but canceled shortly before getting on the plane. He and his team, presumably, ran some advanced tabulations and determined that Donald Trump’s 900-delegate lead would prove difficult to surmount with only about 500 delegates left to be allocated.
At least he gets bragging rights for being the last challenger to Trump in the field. This does not mean, however, that he is the runner-up in the race. As Nate Silver joked Tuesday night, Kasich was running fourth place in a two-man race.
Kasich’s mathematical window for winning a majority of delegates prior to the convention closed in March. He continued running in the hope that he and Cruz could deny Trump a majority of bound delegates and then, at the convention, these sober-minded delegates would turn to him as the party’s best shot for defeating Hillary Clinton. Now that Trump clearly will not be denied a first-ballot majority of delegates, it’s time for him to go.
Never before has a candidate attempted to milk so much out of a 16 percent showing in New Hampshire. The only state he won was his home state. He was right, though, that he probably would have beaten Clinton. Oh, well.