A new poll shows John Kasich vaulting ahead of Donald Trump in a must-win state
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is locked in a tight battle in his home state with Donald Trump, according to a new FOX News poll out on Wednesday.
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The survey found Kasich beating Trump for the first time in Ohio since polls started being conducted in August.
Kasich garnered 34 percent of support among likely Republican-primary voters in the state, while Trump garnered 29 percent of the vote. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz clocked in at 19 percent support, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio registered 9 percent.
Despite the good news, recent polling suggests that Kasich is still the likely underdog in his home state, which awards all 66 of its delegates to the first-place finisher when it votes next Tuesday.
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Two other polls released earlier on Wednesday found Trump with a six-point lead over Kasich in the Buckeye State. The governor's campaign blasted out the FOX News poll results to reporters, saying that it was the first reliable survey conducted since last Thursday's Republican presidential debate.
The poll comes less than a week before the state holds its primary, and only days after the governor narrowly came in third place in Michigan, a state in which he told audiences in New Hampshire that he needed to perform well in.
Kasich's Ohio win could deprive Trump of key delegates on his march to the Republican presidential nomination. The Kasich campaign has been publicly gearing up for a possible fight for the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland later this year.
Ohio is a must-win state for Kasich, and even carries prime importance for Trump.
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Kasich trails his Republican rivals by large margins in the delegate chase. He desperately needs a win to maintain validity in the race. For Trump, on the other hand, capturing 66 delegates would greatly increase his chances of securing the nomination before the convention.
Trump is campaigning hard in next week's winner-take-all primaries in Ohio and Florida, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper in a Wednesday interview that he wants to strike a "knockout" blow in both states.
"I think if I win those two, I think it's over," Trump said of Ohio and Florida.
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