John Kasich dropped out of the Republican primaries five weeks ago, but that didn't stop most Kasich supporters.
Most years, voters abandon candidates who suspend their campaigns, even though their names stay on the ballots. A Huffington Post analysis of the last five election cycles shows Kasich’s message hasn’t dimmed nearly as much as that of other major candidates.
It’s not that Kasich attracted the largest share of votes after dropping out. That honor belongs to Bill Bradley. Bradley had 26.3 percent of votes when he dropped out against Al Gore in 2000. Afterward, 16 percent of voters still chose him, a drop of about two-fifths.
Most dropouts fade into oblivion. In 2008, Mitt Romney dropped out with 31.9 percent of the vote; afterward, only 3.4 percent of voters chose him. That's a plunge of nine-tenths.
Kasich stands apart. When he dropped out, he had 14.2 percent of votes. After he dropped out, 11.4 percent of voters chose him: a decrease of only one-fifth.
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California, voted for Kasich:
And Kasich’s campaign seems to live on. Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, tweeted thanks to supporters after Kasich’s relatively strong showing Tuesday:
This "fever" is the discord around Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee. Some primary-goers voted for Kasich to convince Trump to moderate his message or choose Kasich as a running mate.
Kasich has claimed it's "hard to say" whether he'll support Donald Trump in this year's general election. The same probably goes for the 3 million voters who chose Kasich.
Methodology: we selected all Democratic and Republican candidates who received 500,000 votes before suspending their campaigns in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. We calculated the cumulative total number of votes for that candidate every day after dropping out and the cumulative total of potential votes from all races for which that candidate was on the ballot. We compared that to the percentage of votes the candidate received before dropping out.
For details, read the source code.
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