John Kasich comes in 2nd in New Hampshire

John Kasich wins New Hamsphire election

John Kasich won second place in the New Hampshire primary election, leaving Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio behind. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich battled with Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio for 2nd place in a tight election.

Ohio governor John Kasich has finished second in New Hampshire, ABC is reporting. With 23 percent of the votes counted, he has 15 percent of the vote, putting him behind Donald Trump with 34 percent.

On paper, Kasich seems like a strong presidential candidate. He is the Republican governor of one of the nation’s most important swing states, and he’s really popular there. He also has experience in Congress and the private sector, making him one of the most well-rounded candidates in the race.

Yet until now, he hasn’t been considered a top tier contender. He finished eighth in last week’s Iowa caucuses with less than 2 percent of the vote, and has barely been a blip in national polls.

But New Hampshire has an open primary system that allows independents to vote in the Republican race — and as a result the state has a history of nominating relatively moderate Republicans. New Hampshire backed John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, helping both men recover from losses in Iowa to capture the Republican nomination.

Now New Hampshire voters have given Kasich a chance to break into the top tier of the Republican race. The result gives Kasich a shot at supplanting Marco Rubio as the emerging favorite of mainstream Republicans who loathe Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

Kasich’s big challenge will be figuring out how to maintain his New Hampshire momentum as the race moves into more conservative states like South Carolina, where his centrist message may not be as welcome.