(photo credit: Sarah Bassil/Fourth Estate)
By Sarah Bassil
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich kicked off Super Tuesday with a rally at Mason’s Arlington campus.
There was a large turnout at the rally, which was made up of a variety of demographics. Kasich received a lot of positive energy from the crowd, especially from the younger attendees.
Karen Kasich, the candidate’s wife, was the first individual introduced at the rally. Kasich told the audience why she thought they needed to vote for her husband by sharing different stories, such as how they met and how he decided to run. This helped rally-goers form a sense of the kind of candidate John Kasich is.
This rally was Kasich’s second appearance in less than 10 days at Mason. Traditionally, a candidate will visit many different locations in the weeks leading up to Super Tuesday. Kasich’s last rally at Mason was on Monday, Feb. 22, on the Fairfax campus, which only a handful of students attended. In comparison, the rally this Tuesday saw hundreds of supporters come out to support the candidate.
When asked to give his opinion on why the Kasich campaign decided to hold yet another rally at Mason, law student Lucas Daniels said, “My assumptions is that he has ties to our administration. Our new dean has pretty deep ties into the Republican Party here in Virginia, and it’s just politics at this point.”
Other individuals echoed the same sentiments. Campaign volunteers such as Amos Rothstein credited the rally to the fact that Governor Kasich “sees the importance of higher education, the importance of delegates in Virginia,” explaining that Virginia “is a state that’s really going to be up for grabs, and his [Kasich’s] message will really resonate here.”
Others in attendance, like Blair Ship who works for a lobby firm in D.C., simply wanted to show their support for the Republican candidate.
“Governor Kasich is really the only candidate from both parties who can actually bring this country together,” Ship said.
Among the attendees of the rally were the Young Republicans of Langley High School, a group of students that took advantage of Fairfax County’s controversial decision to close schools for Super Tuesday.
Langley senior Jonathan Canfield gave his views on the candidate, and said that “Kasich is one of the few candidates that runs a really positive campaign and actually has a background of well-informed ideas.”
Also in attendance were two of Kasich’s most famous political supporters, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista Gingrich, who are good friends of the Kasiches.
Gingrich told National Review that his attendance at the rally and overall support of Kasich is “an act of friendship” since Kasich is like his “little brother.”
Even with the support of Gingrich and others, the results of the Virginia primary were not in Kasich’s favor, giving him only five delegates compared to Donald Trump’s 17,
Marco Rubio’s 16 and Ted Cruz’s eight. The Kasich campaign remains hopeful, working hard to win the Republican nomination.