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John Kasich receives lifeline in Republican race with Ohio primary win

Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a campaign stop on Monday, March 14, 2016, at the MAPS Air Museum in North Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It may not be enough, but John Kasich may be hanging around the Republican presidential race a bit longer after a win in the Ohio primary on Tuesday.

Without a win in his home state, Kasich would likely have called it a race.

Heading into Tuesday, Kasich was locked in a tight contest with Donald Trump. Seeking a final boost in his home state, Kasich spent Monday campaigning alongside Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee and a fierce critic of Trump.

“This is the guy Ohio has to vote for, and America’s counting on you,” Romney told the crowd at a Kasich event in North Canton. While Romney has not endorsed Kasich, he’s said he’ll do whatever is needed to help all of Trump’s rivals.

Kasich’s victory could prove a bit of a stumbling block for Trump, who earlier in the week said taking Ohio’s delegates — one of four states awarding them on Tuesday — could let him focus more on the national race than his own party.

“If we win Florida and we win Ohio, we can go and attack Hillary (Clinton),” he said.

Tuesday’s win is the start of a long, long road for the Ohio governor. While he collected 66 delegates, Kasich still trails frontrunner Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz by hundreds of delegates.

With just months until the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Kasich will have to hope for several more big wins if he’s going to pose a serious challenge to Trump and Cruz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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