PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) --After a third place finish to Donald Trump in Tuesday's Michigan primary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich brought his campaign to Chicago's suburbs Wednesday, stumping for votes in next week's Illinois primary.
Kasich got his biggest applause of the day - and a standing ovation - when he told voters in Palatine he refuses to get down in the mud to be president of the United States.
"What do I have to give these people? How about some hope, okay!" Kasich said.
Honest, humble and free of hyperbole: those are the traits Kasich says set him apart.
"Did you hear how people reacted when I said I'm running a positive campaign? They almost tore the roof off the place!" he said.
Kasich captured as many delegates in Michigan Tuesday night as second place finisher Ted Cruz. He now moves all of his chips to his home state of Ohio, which votes Tuesday. Marco Rubio is also in a do-or-die situation that day in his home state of Florida.
"Buckle up your seat belts, this ride has got a few more tricks and turns," Rubio said.
"Trump is 100 delegates ahead of us. But I'll tell ya, the momentum is with us," Cruz said.
Unlike the others, Kasich has never gone on the attack.
"I'm beginning to surge because people, for the first time, are hearing my message," Kasich said. "This was an absolutely remarkable rally."
During his two suburban stops Wednesday, he talked policy and his record as a governor turning around a budget mess similar to Illinois'.
"This is the Land of Lincoln. You can't melt down financially in this state and survive - this is ridiculous, why don't you tell 'em all to get along better. Get the legislature to work with the governor to get this state fixed before more businesses leave this state!" he said.
In the audience at Navistar's headquarters in Lisle are undecided and disenchanted voters Kasich desperately needs.
"As far as the state of the race, we think it's a zoo. I think it's a little embarrassing. I wish there would be a little more decorum to it," said Janet Lancaster.
"I've been a republican for many years, but I cannot vote for Trump or Cruz, so I'm hoping he's a good alternative," said Dennis Johnson.