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John Kasich says neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz can win the general election — and why not

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, buoyed after his home state delivered his first presidential primary victory, declared Wednesday that his chances of clinching the Republican nomination are just as good as his opponents.

Kasich said he plans to take his campaign all the way to the party's convention because neither he nor the remaining two candidates in the race, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, “is going to have enough delegates” before then to declare himself the presumptive nominee.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images
John Kasich celebrating his Ohio primary victory on Tuesday at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

“Let me tell you, neither Cruz nor Trump can win the general election," Kasich said Wednesday on TODAY. "They can’t come in to Ohio with the philosophy they have and win. You can’t win Ohio, you can’t be president.”

Kasich scored an easy victory over front-runner Trump in Ohio, which not only delivered the governor his first Republican primary campaign win, it also revived his struggling presidential bid. His home-turf victory denied Trump one of the evening's biggest delegate prizes and temporarily delayed the billionaire candidate from claiming the presumptive nominee title.

Kasich still trails far behind Cruz, who ranks second in the delegate count and even Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the presidential race after a major loss to Trump in his home state.

But Kasich told TODAY that after more voters listen to his philosophy and start thinking about which Republican has the best chance to defeat the eventual Democratic nominee, "I’m going to be the nominee."

Trump currently appears to have the best odds of winning the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination before the convention, but Kasich insisted that won’t happen.

“Everyone is going to fall short,” he said.

Some Republican operatives have said the more conservative Cruz has the best chance of stopping Trump’s momentum, but Kasich said he has no plans of dropping his presidential bid in order to cooperate with Cruz.

“I’m out there running to be president. I’m not out to stop Donald Trump or stop anybody else,” he said. “By winning yesterday in Ohio, I’ve dealt him a very, very big blow to being able to have the number of delegates.”

Follow TODAY.com writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.

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