The Ohio governor is stumping across New Hampshire highlighting his experience in Congress, backing such issues as the Iran nuclear deal and campaign-finance reform that are usually supported by Democrats and painting himself as an uplifting alternative to the doom-and-gloom tone dominating the GOP primary.
There is some evidence this approach is working. Mr. Kasich is second to front-runnerDonald Trump in each of five public polls of New Hampshire voters in the past month. An American Research Group survey released Tuesday showed him at 20%, up six percentage points from earlier in the month. Mr. Trump leads at 27%, the poll found.
“I’m not sugarcoating anything, but I’m not walking in there as the prince of darkness,” Mr. Kasich said during an interview on his campaign bus. “I’d rather be the prince of light, the prince of hope.”
This weekend he received endorsements from newspapers in Nashua, Portsmouth and Dover. His town-hall events Monday and Tuesday drew standing-room-only crowds. And the super PAC backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently targeted him, stuffing mailboxes with a flier detailing Mr. Kasich’s violations of Republican orthodoxy, which include accepting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion for Ohio and voting in Congress for a 1994 ban of certain semiautomatic firearms.