If Kasich runs as a Republican, he’ll join a list that includes Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan, Ted Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy — candidates who challenged presidents from their own party.
But if, as some believe, he will run as an independent, that would mean he carries his challenge through all the primaries, the conventions and into November.
That’s a whole lot of talk shows.
Here are some notable independent challenges over the past several decades:
- 1948: States' Rights Democratic Party (otherwise known as the Dixiecrats) candidate Strom Thurmond ran in the famous Dewey v. Truman race that had the Chicago Tribune erroneously declaring Dewey the winner. Thurmond wasn't a huge factor, but he did win four southern states and 39 votes in the Electoral College.
1980: Independent John Anderson didn’t win a single state and wasn’t a huge factor in an election in which Republican Ronald Reagan unseated Democratic incumbent president Jimmy Carter. But Anderson did receive more than 5.7 million votes, which reflected some of the unhappiness many in the country felt toward both of the major party candidates. Anderson was a Republican but bolted from his party and had an enthusiastic following among liberal college students (sound familiar). In the end, Reagan won the popular vote by more than 8.4 million votes.
In this July 2, 1980 file photo, Independent presidential candidate Rep. John Anderson of Illinois ponders a question from reporters during a press conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)
1992 and 1996: Ross Perot may be the most famous independent candidate of recent times, and his influence on the 1992 race probably can’t be overstated. Democrat Bill Clinton beat incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush by about 5.8 million votes. Perot didn’t win a single state but brand of populism appealed to a wide segment of the country and he received 19.7 million votes, or nearly 19 percent of the votes cast. The 1996 election was a different story. Perot again drew support from both sides of the aisle but received just 8 million votes, less than half his total from four years earlier.
Billionaire Ross Perot ran for president in 1992 and 1996. In 1992, the populist won 19 percent of the vote, making him one of the most successful third-party candidates. He later formed the Reform Party and ran again in 1996 but won just eight percent of the vote.