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Tags: mike pence | republican | president | campaign | 2024
CORRESPONDENT

Pence Never Gained Traction Before Bowing Out

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 31 October 2023 10:59 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

It was telling that reports of former Vice President Mike Pence's exit Saturday from the 2024 presidential race appeared the next day on page 17 of the Washington Post and page 23 of the New York Times.

Pence, former Indiana governor and six-term U.S. Representative, never caught on in a four-month, cash-strapped campaign that failed to ignite evangelical or traditional conservatives that he claimed to represent.

"He couldn't raise the money he thought would be there for him, and he never secured the 'evangelical' lane he thought would be his," said Bill Ballenger, editor of the Michigan political newsletter The Ballenger Report. "His campaign was dead from the start. He's a man without a political country."

Whatever support Pence had is likely to go to former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who appears to be emerging as the premier alternative to Donald Trump in the GOP sweepstakes. Pence is likely to endorse Haley, but whether that will have any impact on the 2024 contest is questionable. 

As Dan Schnur, political scientist and onetime press secretary to California's former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, put it: "Pence was too Trump for the non-Trumpies and not Trump enough for the Trump supporters. It does not change the race at all."

As the first vice president to challenge the president he had served since John Nance Garner opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 over FDR's intention to seek a third term, Pence, 64, was finished well before Garner, made it to the Democratic National Convention.

Pols and pundits who spoke to Newsmax generally agreed that Pence's problem within the Republican base — one that stymied his attempt to raise dollars necessary to be competitive — was the perception that by certifying the electoral vote count showing Joe Biden elected president over Trump in 2020 and had betrayed Trump.

"Former Vice President Pence had a huge disadvantage going into the Republican nomination contest and that is that many in the party's base felt that he had been disloyal to President Trump," veteran North Carolina political analyst Marc Rotterman told us. "Right or wrong, that was the perception."

Rotterman added that Pence "also struggled with his message and his fundraising efforts were anemic." 

While inevitably pointing out that he carried out his constitutional duty by certifying Biden as the winner over Trump, Pence also tried to speak of the accomplishments of what he always called "the Trump-Pence Administration."

It clearly did not catch on, and Pence's exodus Saturday was the candidate's own recognition of that.

As Henry Olsen, syndicated columnist and author of a much-praised book on Ronald Reagan and blue-collar voters, put it: "Pence realized what had been obvious for months — that he had no chance of winning. His small measure of support should flow mostly to Nikki Haley."

With Trump holding as much as a 47% lead in polls over his nearest Republican rival, the next question is who will follow Pence as a dropout in the 2024 nomination process. And will it make any difference?

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
It was telling that reports of former Vice President Mike Pence's exit Saturday from the 2024 presidential race appeared the next day on page 17 of the Washington Post and page 23 of the New York Times.
mike pence, republican, president, campaign, 2024
520
2023-59-31
Tuesday, 31 October 2023 10:59 AM
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