Is Mike Pence getting ready to announce a presidential campaign? That’s the word on the street, and reporters are now digging into what that would look like and just how much support the former vice president would enjoy.
On that front, The Atlantic tried to get some answers, and in doing so, they stumbled upon an embarrassing revelation.
.@mckaycoppins went looking for a Pence supporter. Not "supporters," plural. "Supporter," singular. Just one. How'd he fare? Well, let's just say Diogenes had more luck. https://t.co/DzqIkvu8dj
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) March 23, 2023
The article is based on a focus group of Republican voters, some Trump supporters and some not. What it found was that not a single participant was supportive of Pence running for president. Further, out of the entire group, only four said they would even consider it.
“I don’t care for him … He’s just middle-of-the-road to me. If there was someone halfway better, I wouldn’t vote for him.”
“He has alienated every Republican and Democrat … It’s over. It’s retirement time.”
“He’s only gonna get the vote from his family, and I’m not even sure if they like him.”
“He just needs to go away.”
It went on and on like that across four different focus groups. Of the 34 Republicans who participated, I heard only four people say they’d consider Pence for president—and two of them immediately started talking themselves out of it after indicating interest.
What we are talking about here is a possible presidential campaign that has no real support among GOP voters. It’s astonishing when you think about it. Why is a man with no support even thinking about launching a presidential campaign? What level of ego and delusion would one have to be operating under to undertake such a futile endeavor?
This situation isn’t the same as with past long-shot candidates who organically gained support either. Pence already has universal name ID. He’s not going to burst onto the scene and shock people. Heck, even if he were unknown with theoretical room to grow, that’s not his style. Instead, he’s going to play “the adult in the room,” espousing a GOP platform that sounds an awful lot like what existed before Donald Trump. Now, how do you think that will play with voters when the alternatives are the former president and Ron DeSantis?
Pence has spent the last year traveling to 30 states, but in those states, he’s spent his time with donors and think tanks, giving boilerplate speeches that no one sees. That’s not to say those things are bad. Trump and DeSantis need donors and hold fundraisers, but they also have a repertoire with the public that they exercise almost everywhere they go. When is the last time Pence walked down a street or into a restaurant and was mobbed by a crowd?
The former vice president needs to make the right decision here, and the right decision is to shelve his ego and cancel any planned run. GOP voters deserve a clear choice not muddled by a bunch of 5-7 percenters splitting the vote. Pence has no shot because he has no constituency. Even those who might be predisposed to support him would likely just go with Nikki Haley. At least she’s got the identity politics thing going for her in a general election. Pence is part of the old guard, and there’s no appetite for that.
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