It is five days after the Ohio Republican Primary, one of five primary races held that day. There were also some other primaries and caucuses since I last reported. Despite what is a dramatic and singular race, events have not clarified that much, except that things still seem at an improbable deadlock. But lets go back to Ohio.
Ohio has a mythic importance in Republican Party politics, especially in the presidential race. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. Ohio, with its combination of industrial cities, farm belts and suburbs, is considered to be a little microcosm of the United States. It is the archetypical swing state.
In this cycle, it also played a role for another reason: John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, was running for president. Originally an also ran, that had been relegated to a lesser role as bigger names were in the primary, he somehow had managed to hold on for six weeks, going through over two dozen contests without winning a race, and in many cases garnering no delegates. But as the governor of Ohio, he felt that he had to stay in until his home state voted. This would mark him, and not Florida Senator Marco Rubio, as the moderate, "establishment" Republican candidate.
And, on schedule, the predictions came true: Kasich did pull out a victory in Ohio, beating Trump 47-36%, with his victory coming across a wide swath of Ohio's cities and rural areas, although he did less well in Ohio's Appalachian region. The win was the only state that Trump did not win that night, and due to the winner take all nature of the contest, Kasich received 66 delegates. The win makes it much more difficult, although not impossible, for Trump to win the primary outright. Kasich has no real chance of winning, but his victory, together with the exit of Marco Rubio, means that he will probably gather enough delegates to be able to break the tie at a contested convention.
It also shows just how ridiculous and outside of the norm this year's race is. The "consensus" establishment candidate loses half of the races, before finally winning one: in the state he is governor of, and by a narrow plurality. It continues to be a wild year.