Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he's rising in the polls in New Hampshire because a battle is raging between light and dark candidates, and he's on the light side.

"I think first of all, I have the experience and I've had success and I've been a reformer all of my life," the Republican presidential candidate told Hugh Hewitt on his radio program Tuesday evening. "Look, we have a lot of candidates who like the 'Prince of Darkness.' I consider myself the 'Prince of Light and Hope,' and I don't spend all my time getting people riled up about how bad everything is."

In a recent American Research Group poll in New Hampshire, Kasich has pulled into second place behind Donald Trump, who has been the front-runner in essentially every state and national poll in recent months.

According to Kasich, Americans are "hungry" for someone for someone who can acknowledge the challenges they face and can solve their problems.

"People don't want to have to live in the lane of depression. They want to believe that in America, it can all work, and I think it's working. But look, I've been doing this for a long, long time. People weren't paying attention and we're rising right now. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but what I'm happy about, Hugh, is that we're raising the bar, we have a positive message and makes people come and say, 'You represent hope.' What can be better than that, man? What can be better than that?" he remarked.

When asked if his improving poll numbers are because he is no longer campaigning as "irascible," Kasich responded: "Well, I've been happy this entire campaign, Hugh, and this whole business where somebody was saying I was [irascible] or something or whatever, these are not people I have any control over. But what I can tell you is that I have had a great time, win or lose, this has been fantastic, I've met many people, I have great memories. The last time I tried this, I didn't have any good memories, but now I do."

In a RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Kasich's 2.3 percentage points puts him in eighth place. The same poll for New Hampshire has him in second place behind Trump, but with a bigger difference than the American Research Group poll. He sits fourth in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings.