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Top Aide Confident Kasich WIll Make First GOP Debate

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich’s top strategist says he is confident the Ohio governor will be on stage when the first presidential primary is held in the Buckeye State on August 6.

“We believe we'll be in the debate,” Kasich strategist John Weaver told NBC News.

Fox News, which is hosting the debate in Cleveland, Ohio, will allow on stage the top ten highest polling GOP candidates, as determined by the five most recent national polls leading up to the event.

Kasich is hovering around the tenth and final spot, and not making the cut would be particularly tough blow since the debate is being held in his home state.

Weaver says Kasich is proceeding with normal debate prep but “unlike some candidates, doesn't require "cramming" on any subject.”

Weaver did temper his enthusiasm, saying that it would be “great” for the two-term Ohio governor to compete in next Thursday’s debate.

“If not, we'll be doing something productive toward winning the nomination, which is where our focus is on the early states,” Weaver said.