John Kasich: NH momentum will be sufficient to win

Story highlights

  • John Kasich banks on beating expectations in New Hampshire
  • "If I come out of New Hampshire as a big story, I think I will be the nominee and I think I have an excellent chance to be president," Kasich said

Washington (CNN)If John Kasich beats expectations in New Hampshire, he says, he'll have enough momentum to be the Republican nominee.

Despite having overwhelmingly focused on the Granite State during his campaign, Kasich predicted Monday that the surge in momentum would propel him to wins deeper in the calendar and allow him to end the nominating contest as the GOP standard-bearer.
"If I come out of New Hampshire as a big story, I think I will be the nominee and I think I have an excellent chance to be president," Kasich told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront." "All of a sudden, I'll have name ID, I'll be able to raise the money, people will be more willing to help me."
Kasich is locked in a four-way battle for establishment support in New Hampshire, almost all of whom are competing for second place after Donald Trump there. Kasich on Monday had his best poll in months in the second-voting state, earning 14% in a Monmouth University survey.
Also mixed up with those more moderate hopefuls is Ted Cruz, who is showing surprising strength in a state that favors more centrist candidates. Kasich on Monday punted when asked if Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother, is eligible to be president, a question fueled by Trump's campaign.
"I'm not interested in this citizenship issue. I wasn't interested when they said President Obama didn't live in the U.S. or wasn't a citizen or whatever," the Ohio governor said. "That lowers the debate and lowers the discussion, and I'm not for doing that."