Republican presidential candidate John Kasich met with supporters Thursday at a crowded Bronx Italian market, where he said his underdog campaign’s “strongest days are ahead.”
The visit came as Kasich’s campaign touted a recent state poll that shows him ranking second in the primary race, and the launch of a his first TV campaign ad in the state, as evidence that his campaign has been gaining ground ahead of New York’s April 19 primary.
Kasich, the Ohio governor waging a long-shot bid for the GOP nomination against real estate mogul Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, greeted more than 100 supporters, namely Fordham University students, inside the crowded Arthur Avenue Market.
“It’s not just about winning, it’s about how you conduct yourself,” Kasich told supporters as he ate a dish of spaghetti Bolognese in front of the Mike’s Deli counter.
A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed Trump leading Kasich 52 percent to 25 percent. Cruz, who campaigned in the Bronx Wednesday and Brooklyn Thursday, had 17 percent support among likely voters.
A Quinnipiac Poll released last Thursday showed Kasich ranked last of the three candidates — Trump led with 56 percent, Cruz had 20 percent, and Kasich had 19 percent.
Kasich’s campaign on Thursday announced the release of a his first TV campaign ad in the state.
The ad titled “Values” takes aim at Cruz and his comments in a January Iowa debate that Trump “embodies New York values.”
“Ted Cruz divides to get a vote. John Kasich unites to get things done,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot that features snapshots of Times Square and the Manhattan skyline.
Cruz’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Kasich is scheduled to hold a town forum in Brooklyn Thursday night with TV personality Montel Williams.