Ohio Republicans are in John Kasich's corner — to a point.

The governor was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2014 and in four-plus years has revived an Ohio economy that languished like the rest of the Rust Belt following the Great Recession. That combined success earned Kasich enough political capital to secure the support of Republican donors and operatives in Ohio for his presumed presidential bid and freeze out the other GOP contenders accustomed to hitting up the Buckeye State for campaign cash and operational talent.

Kasich's presidential coming out party, set for July 21 at the Ohio State University in Columbus, had received more than 850 requests for tickets as of Tuesday, his political team confirmed to the Washington Examiner. All of this suggests an Ohio Republican Party and political infrastructure solidly behind the governor's White House run. But Kasich, 63, has a complicated relationship with Republicans at home, possibly limiting how much in-state help he can count on.

"He's wide and not deep," said one veteran Ohio Republican insider, who, like others interviewed for this story, requested anonymity in order to speak critically about Kasich's level of support in the Buckeye State. Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for Kasich's political team, maintained otherwise, saying that support for the governor and his likely 2016 campaign is broad and enthusiastic. "Gov. Kasich has been urged by Ohio community and political leaders to run for president," he said. "Since the governor announced he would be making an announcement on July 21st there has been a strong response from Ohio leaders hopeful that he will announce he's entering the race."

Kasich's route to the governorship was circuitous, and could explain the ambivalence some longtime Republican political professionals feel about his presidential aspirations. Kasich spent 18 years in Congress, from 1983 to 2001, representing a district just north and east of Columbus, the state capital, before exiting politics for a career in business and as a television personality for Fox News that lasted until he decided to run for governor in 2010.

Kasich's critics complain that he did not do much to help maintain or build the Republican Party in Ohio during this period. They also believe he could have done more for the party — inside and outside of the Buckeye State — after being elected governor, particularly during the 2012 election cycle. Even some Ohio Republicans otherwise fond of Kasich concede that he's not that interested in raising money and political organizing.

Kasich, a policy wonk who prefers governing, is compassionate and authentic, qualities that helped him win this battleground state.

But the governor can be blunt and irascible. He is viewed as uninterested in the painstaking work of cultivating and massaging relationships with donors and grassroots activists in the same manner as, for instance, Sen. Rob Portman. Playing the inside game doesn't matter to voters. It matters to political professionals, however, and Kasich's deficiency in this area could make it harder for him to use Ohio as a springboard into contention in 2016.

Supporters shrug off the criticism.

A Republican insider from Columbus said that it's impossible to make everybody happy in Ohio, "a big, hard state" with seven media markets and a diverse array of concerns. Another GOP operative, from Northeast Ohio, acknowledged hearing the complaints, but professed to have had the exact opposite experience, saying the governor has always been helpful. "The critique that I hear is more from really the ultra-right wing that don't like the Medicaid expansion."

Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, went further, firmly disputing the critics who argue that Kasich could have been more active in party affairs. "Gov. Kasich has done everything we've asked of him and more. He raises significant money for us and offers great counsel. It was his leadership that was largely responsible for the historic victories we saw up and down the ballot last year," he said.

Kasich is sitting at 1.8 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average gauging the position of the Republican presidential contenders. In June, the governor was sporting an enviable 60 percent approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Another June survey from Quinnipiac had Kasich plus-seven over presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Ohio, 47 percent to 40 percent.

The former House Budget Committee chairman is a fiscal hawk who champions the flat tax and fewer government regulations. But he has shown ideological flexibility, embracing the Medicaid expansion provided for under President Obama's Affordable Care Act (he refused to create the state exchange for purchasing health insurance called for under Obamacare.) This position rankled some Tea Party conservatives in Ohio, but has played well with most voters.

In the first year of his second term, Kasich appears at the zenith of his political power in Ohio. That influence has had a subtle but distinct impact on the state's place in the 2016 sweepstakes and how it fits into the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Ohio is not an early primary state, but it has must-win status for the GOP in the general election.

This profile would normally motivate plenty of visits to the state by Republican White House contenders to headline fundraising events like county GOP Lincoln Day dinners, as they look to build contacts and support to call in later in a hoped-for campaign against Clinton. But out of deference to Kasich, who has been mulling a presidential campaign for several months, county GOP officials didn't bother inviting any of his potential primary rivals to headline these dinners.

Then there's Cincinnati, a major fundraising hub for Republicans on the national money circuit.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has managed to secure the support of some donors in southwest Ohio who have longstanding ties to his family, which produced the last two Republican presidents. But Ohio Republicans say that the area's big GOP donors are either backing Kasich, or choosing to stay neutral in the primary, out of respect to the governor. The big GOP political financiers in other parts of the state are operating similarly.

"He doesn't 100 percent wall off Cincinnati," an Ohio Republican familiar with the region said. "But I bet a lot of people are saying, 'I'm not getting in at all.' They're keeping their powder dry to see what happens."

Disclosure: The author's wife works as an adviser to Scott Walker.