Comment of the Day: Kasich and Sanders: "In both cases this analysis ('The situation has not developed to their advantage')...:
...assumes that their goals were to be elected president in 2016. This is not necessarily the case.
Sanders' real goal is probably to move the Overton Window, to make it visible just how many Americans support a substantially restructured political economy, from high taxes on the rich to single payer. As I've said before (admittedly with no evidence, purely on hunch) my guess is that Trump will be informed by Sanders' success and will (once the chore of obtaining the Republican nomination is over) throw out various populist ideas. If at some time in the next eight years whoever is president offers up some sort of single payer option (or at least a step towards that, like a federal option for the ACA), reforms student loans, increases taxes on the rich, then Sanders has achieved his goals.
Kasich's long term goal, near as I can tell, is to be the head of a new sane (by current standards anyway) Republican party. I think his calculation is that after the 2016 disaster is over, the plutocracy will want a rather different party, one that's still just as devoted to business, but not quite so enthusiastic about fighting culture wars (and this may even extend to some sanity on ecological issues). He wants to be the guy who can be the face and head of that new saner party, though I don't know if he has a plan in place for how to get from here to there. (Start a new party? Go through the brutal work of purging the nutcase party operatives county by county across the entire country? Engage in a very public humiliation and defenestration of some of the most visible nutcases and hope that sends the message to the lower operatives?)