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  • The RO Team

Mike Pence Enters Presidential Race

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

In a move that sets the stage for an unprecedented contest, former Vice President Mike Pence filed paperwork on Monday to run for president, positioning himself in a competition against a former president of his own party for the nomination. Pence's greatest challenge will be to regain the support of Republicans who largely distanced themselves from him following the presidency of Donald Trump.

Pence's entry into the race follows a tumultuous two years in the political wilderness, marked by his actions on January 6 to certify the 2020 election results despite intense pressure from Trump. This decision led to occasional boos from the MAGA base, evident at GOP conferences such as the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Florida in 2021 and even on his home turf at a National Rifle Association meeting in Indianapolis this year.

Recognizing the significance of the Iowa caucuses, Pence's strategists are focusing their efforts on rebuilding the coalition of evangelical voters that played a crucial role in delivering victories to candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in 2016, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in 2012, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas in 2008. To aid in this effort, Pence has enlisted Chip Saltsman, the architect of Huckabee's campaign.

Expressing his optimism, Pence recently told voters in Des Moines that Iowa resonates with him as it resembles his home state of Indiana more than any other state in the nation. However, doubts remain about his ability to mend the divide among Trump's most devoted supporters, given his refusal to overturn the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021. Internally, Pence's close circle was divided on whether he should pursue a presidential bid, with some suggesting he run for Indiana's open Senate seat in 2024. Public surveys indicate that Pence is currently polling in single digits, trailing far behind Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

As the campaign unfolds, the former vice president will face the arduous task of winning back the trust and support of Republicans while navigating the complexities of a political landscape still heavily influenced by the legacy of Donald Trump. The race for the Republican nomination promises to be a compelling and closely watched contest, with far-reaching implications for the future direction of the party.


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