Mike Pence was a surprising choice for Vice President. When Donald Trump tabbed the former Indiana Governor to be his running mate, many Trump supporters and GOP members alike were unaware of Mike Pence. After the Trump Presidency, many of the same supporters still wish they were unaware of Mike Pence.
While Pence wasn’t as ineffectual and embarrassing as the current Vice President, the feckless Kamala Harris, he still presented as little more than mayonnaise on white bread to most folks, particularly critics of Trump.
The prevailing thought was Trump made a safe pick in Pence. He was the Governor of Indiana and is known as a deeply religious conservative. Mike Pence was likely a choice much like Harris; someone to appeal to a segment of voters that might not necessarily align with Trump or Biden. In Harris’ case, a diversity hire, and in Pence’s case, someone to appeal to the evangelical portion of the right.
Whether either strategy worked or not, we are stuck with the bumbling Harris, and Trump was stuck with the ineffective, generic Pence. Now Mike Pence is trying to take on a White House run in 2024, and needless to say, it isn’t going well.
Not only do people simply not like Pence, many in the GOP don’t trust him either, especially hardcore Donald Trump supporters. Right or wrong, many feel Pence sold Trump out in the aftermath of the scurrilous 2020 election. Now, almost four years later, Mike Pence is having significant issues even raising enough cash to make the first debate stage.
Pence formally entered the race in June but lags far behind numerous contenders and even a couple of pretenders in fundraising. To date, he has raised a scant $1.2 million for his campaign, while a Pence super PAC, Committed to America, took in $2.7 million.
By comparison, President Trump has brought in $15.3 million, and Ron DeSantis has garnered $20 million. While those numbers are expected, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Cincinnati businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum have all also outpaced Pence’s anemic fundraising numbers.
Besides indicating a lack of support, the anemic fundraising also means that Pence may not actually qualify to be on the debate stage on August 23. Candidates must have at least 40,000 unique donors, a number that the former Indiana Governor is still well short of.
Despite the gap that needs to be closed, pence claims he will be on the debate stage. He said: “We’ll make the debate stage. We’re working around the clock to make sure that we reach that threshold of 40,000. I’m confident we’ll be there come Aug. 23. I just announced a month ago. Give me some time.”
It likely doesn’t matter how much time Pence is given. He wasn’t particularly popular as Vice President, and since essentially disavowing Donald Trump, many hardcore MAGA Republicans simply won’t throw any support behind a perceived traitor.
This is likely Mike Pence’s last hurrah. He was just another face as a Vice President, and he appears to be no more popular now. If he makes the debate stage, it is likely the last we will see of Mike Pence.