As originally appeared in the Cincinnati EnquirerJohn Kasich’s convention guru predicted Tuesday the Ohio governor would have “several hundred” delegates by the end of the GOP primary season and would have to spend the five weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention in a furious bid to win over delegates committed to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and other GOP contenders who dropped out of the race.Charlie Black, a Washington super-lobbyist now helping Kasich craft his convention strategy, laid out an arduous, messy, and contentious path ahead, with Kasich winning the nomination only after at least three rounds of voting at the Cleveland convention in July.Black said Kasich would not try to woo delegates with free trips or fancy dinners, but with a direct political pitch: that he’s the only Republican who can beat the Democratic nominee.“What he has to offer (delegates) is the White House, the Supreme Court and continued control of the United States Senate,” Black told The Enquirer in an interview Tuesday. “He’s the only one who consistently beats (Democratic front-runner) Hillary Clinton in the polls. We’re not going to give them anything in terms of material things.”Black, who worked for California Gov. Ronald Reagan at the contested 1976 convention, said delegates don’t want those kinds of perks anyway. “In 1976 when I was working for Reagan, we were up against the White House,” he recalled of President Gerald Ford's re-election bid. “They had delegates invited to state dinners, delegates invited to meet Queen Elizabeth, to fly on Air Force One. That didn’t have much impact.”Ford did best Reagan at the convention, however, only to lose to Democrat Jimmy Carter in the general election.Black conceded Kasich’s campaign might take delegates out to dinner, but said “that’s not going to add up to much. And no, Kasich has no intention of trying to attract people materially.”He said New York businessman Donald Trump would go into the convention with the most delegates and win the most votes on the first round but fall short of a majority. During the second and third rounds, as more delegates become free agents, Black said those delegates will abandon Trump.“As he loses votes because people are no longer bound by state law to him, (Texas Sen. Ted) Cruz will pick up some, but Kasich will pick up more,” Black argued. “What happens is, as we go through about three ballots, Trump’s lost ground, Kasich’s gained ground,” and Kasich will emerge as the only viable contender as delegates become concerned about the general election.Other Republicans have derided Kasich's strategy as "fantasy" and urged him to drop out of the race. GOP detractors note that Kasich has won only one state--Ohio--while losing 30 other primaries. He currently has just 143 delegates--lagging far behind Trump, who has 743, and Cruz, who has 545."Kasich is a proven loser who should drop out," blared the headline on one conservative columnist's take last week.Under current GOP convention rules, Kasich would probably not even be eligible for the nomination, because a candidate has to win a majority of delegates from at least eight states to have his name on the ballot. With only one win so far, Kasich is unlikely to meet that requirement. But as Kasich noted during a CNN town hall Monday night, those rules can be changed."I think the rules will be open, and even if they're not, I'm still going to go in there with significant delegates," Kasich said during the forum.As Kasich campaigns this week in New York, Maryland, and other upcoming primary states, Black said the Ohio governor’s campaign has turned its attention to the states that have already voted and where convention delegates are being selected. Kasich’s status as an establishment “mainstream conservative” gives him an edge in that battle, he said.Take, for example, Florida, which has 99 delegates all bound to Trump on the first round of voting because of his resounding primary win there.“But you know who picks those delegates?” Black asked, explaining that those delegate selections are made by Florida’s Republican executive committee and Congressional District committees that select the delegates — so state legislators, county Republican chairmen, and members of Congress.“Most of the people who (will be) sitting in those delegates seats will be party regulars,” Black predicted. “After the third ballot, when they’re free agents, most of them are not going to be for Trump. … The majority of them will be for Kasich because they’re party regulars and they want to win.”Kasich himself predicted a messy delegate fight, telling a CNN town hall Monday night: "Well, it's sort of a scrum. And, look, we don't know who all the delegates are going to be. They're going to be hard- working Republicans. There will be some elected officials or former elected officials, ward heelers and all this."Black, who has worked in some capacity on every Republican presidential campaign since 1976, shrugged off questions about whether the Republican Party would be riven by a bitter revolt if GOP elites tried to orchestrate a Kasich nomination, after those voters rejected the Ohio governor at the ballot box.“No,” he said flatly. Some Trump supporters will be angry, “but there’s not that many of them,” Black said. “And it’s up to the leaders, to Trump and Cruz, to tell people they need to support the party’s nominee.”He also dismissed Trump’s complaint that the delegate selection process is “crooked,” with the GOP establishment working behind the scenes to strip delegates from him. “Those rules have been in place and been known for over a year,” Black said, calling Trump a “whiner.”“If Trump’s not winning delegates out in the field, it’s because they neglected the process,” he said. “They did not organize … state by state to elect the delegates.”Black, who hired a 22-year-old Kasich to work as a Reagan field staffer in 1976, predicted Kasich would pick up “at least 100 more delegates” between now and June 7, the date of the last GOP primaries. Then, during the five weeks between the last primary and the start of the convention, there will be a “very intense” scramble for the 300-plus delegates who are uncommitted at that point — either because of convention rules or because they are bound to a candidate no longer in the race.He said, for example, that he and other Kasich allies are courting delegates committed to Rubio. “We know who those folks are, we’ve talked to a lot of them. And I think … (Kasich's) going to get a majority of them,” Black said.Asked if Kasich would quit the race if he fails to fulfill any of these predictions, Black said not a chance.“John Kasich’s in the race until somebody at the convention gets a majority of the delegates — him or someone else,” Black said.