Former Vice-President Mike Pence has officially filed paperwork to join an increasingly crowded field of Republicans vying for the presidency. With his formal campaign launch scheduled in Iowa, Pence aims to position himself as a continuation of the conservative agenda of the Trump administration, while also distancing himself from his former boss. However, Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls, leaving Pence facing an uphill battle in his pursuit of the Republican nomination.
At 63 years old, Pence brings with him a wealth of political experience, having served as both the governor of Indiana and a congressman. During his tenure as Vice-President, Pence stood by Donald Trump as a steadfast and loyal deputy. Describing himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order,” Pence consistently aligned himself with the Trump administration’s policies and principles.
A Rift Emerges
As per BBC News, The relationship between Pence and Trump took a turn following the Capitol riot in January 2021. Trump pressured Pence to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory during the certification of results in Congress, openly criticizing him for lacking “courage” when he refused to comply. The former Vice-President later expressed his concerns, stating that Trump’s encouragement of the rioters had put the lives of his family and everyone in the Capitol in danger.
Pence’s Bid for the Presidency
Despite their differences, Pence seeks to appeal to the conservative base as a candidate who can carry forward the Trump legacy. By emphasizing his alignment with the conservative agenda, Pence hopes to win over Republican voters who value continuity and stability. His campaign launch in Iowa is strategically aimed at capturing the support of religious conservatives, a key voting bloc in the state known for its influence in the Republican primary.
Competition and Challenges
However, Pence faces stiff competition within his own party. Former President Donald Trump continues to enjoy strong support among Republicans and consistently leads in the polls. Most surveys currently place Pence in a distant third position, with single-digit support. Additionally, other prominent figures like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley are also vying for the nomination.
The Concerns of a Crowded Field
As the Republican field becomes increasingly crowded, there is a growing concern that the anti-Trump vote could be divided, ultimately benefiting Trump in the primary race. With contenders like DeSantis, Christie, and Burgum also planning to enter the race, the party risks splitting its support and inadvertently paving the way for another Trump nomination. This scenario poses a challenge for candidates like Pence, who are aiming to present themselves as a viable alternative to Trump within the Republican Party.