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Comparing Kasich and Portman and the national presidential field
'Crystal Ball's' Kyle Kondik talks about style and substance of the potential presidential candidates
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Gov. Chris Christie has baggage, but he also has formidable political skills. So how do Ohio's Kasich and Portman measure up against him and against each other?
Courtesy of Republican Governors Association
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Gov. John Kasich was a dominant presence last week at the Republican Governors Association conference, especially at some of the sessions seen by pundits as a very early, very dry run at the Republican primary. 

WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the managing editor of the political blog, Crystal Ball, about the style and presidential potential of Kasich and of another Ohio pol: Senator Rob Portman – and comparing them to the national field.

LISTEN: A question of style and background

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LISTEN: Timing is tight

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Sen. Rob Portman expects to make up his mind soon on whether he'll run.
Gov. Kasich had a huge margin of victory in November.
Gov. Christie has baggage, but is a dominant force.

Kyle Kondik grew up in Northeast Ohio, but has been studying national politics for awhile now for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. He notes that for now, a dozen or more names are circulating as potential presidential candidates. And with names like Jeb Bush and Tim Ryan floating around, neither Kasich nor Portman has been at the top tier.

But the numbers game may also play in their favor.

Crystal Ball’s Kondik notes that two Minnesotans -- Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann -- made a run for the GOP nomination in 2012 and it was a flop for both.

LISTEN: A question of style and background
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Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Crystal Ball, notes that all three – Gov. Christie, Gov. Kasich and Sen. Portman -- come from the establishment wing of the Republican Party, from whom its presidential candidates are usually selected.

A quick read on timing:
The Republican Governors Association meeting last week in Florida drew 2,000 donors and politicians, many eager to look over the party’s 2016 presidential prospects. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more role of Ohio’s governor at the get together.

Gov. John Kasich has not even confirmed he’s interested in running for president. But he did get a lot of attention from pundits and the national press, in part by differing from the others at the governor’s conference on issues such as immigration and defending his expansion of Medicaid.

Kasich is not the only Ohio politician who may be in the running. Sen. Rob Portman has said he expects to make up his mind soon.

Kyle Kondik of the political blog ‘Crystal Ball,’ says time for anybody to decide to run for president may be short.

“For candidates who are not obvious front runners like Portman or Kasich, I think if they want to get going on running for president they have to get going pretty soon here.”

After all, Kondik says, the campaign season really begins early next year. But neither Portman nor Kasich has set a firm time-table for making a decision

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