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Mike Pence: The Man Who Could Beat Trump in 2024?

Donald Trump
Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.

Can Mike Pence beat his former boss, Donald Trump, for the 2024 nomination?

Almost certainly not – but that doesn’t mean Pence isn’t going to give it a shot. He seems to have nothing to lose.

Officially speaking, the GOP presidential field remains unclear. But the general contours of the field appear to be taking form. Outside of Donald Trump, no major player has announced his or her candidacy – but safe money says Mike Pence (plus Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz) will run against Trump for the 2024 ticket.

Safe money also says that Pence won’t fare well; he is significantly less likely to secure the ticket than either Trump or DeSantis.

The Mike Pence Factor for 2024

Granted, Pence is a national figure. And the vice presidency is correctly viewed as a launching pad for the presidency itself. Biden, Bush 41, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, Truman – they all served as vice presidents before taking the presidency. Gore and Mondale served as vice president, too, before becoming their party’s standard bearer in a general election (which they both lost).

So, Pence has presidential credentials and pedigree. He also hails from the hotly contested Midwest and appeals to evangelicals and staunch conservatives. Pence is, in all respects, a formidable figure. 

But Pence dwells in Trump’s shadow. What Pence does is weighed, almost by default, in relation to Trump. Know what I mean?

Trump’s reaction to what Pence says or does is a bigger story than what Pence says or does. And the biggest Pence storylines all relate directly to Trump: Will Pence testify for the House’s January 6th commission about Trump’s behavior; will Pence speak with DOJ regarding Trump’s behavior; Pence released a book – what does it say about Trump!?

To me, the patterns and tendencies of the Pence versus Trump discussion suggest concretely that Trump is still a far more prominent figure than Pence; in any contest between Pence and Trump, it will be Trump with the upper hand.

Trump Can Be Beat

Now, that’s not to say Trump is unbeatable. Maybe he was at one point, say in 2018 or 2019. But Trump’s stock has never been lower. He lost the 2020 election, which for an incumbent president is usually a career-ending sort of thing; he lost in 2021; he lost drastically in 2022.

Really, Trump is on an epic losing streak – and the GOP is starting to notice. Several prominent GOP figures, even Trump loyalists, have begun to suggest the GOP may want to pivot towards the next generation of leadership. 

Aside from losing election after election, Trump is also embroiled in controversy, lawsuits, and investigations. Most recently, Trump is facing heat for having a Thanksgiving dinner at Mar-a-Lago with antisemite Kanye West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

Then there’s the NY lawsuit alleging that The Trump Organization committed egregious fraud. And there’s the investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of sensitive documents. Oh, and the ongoing investigations into January 6th.

Trump has a lot going on. Most of it is terrible.

But he’s still Trump. He still has one of the most fervent, loyal bases in U.S. political history. Michael Pence, on the other hand, does not have a fervent, loyal base. Nor is Pence even the most formidable challenger. That distinction belongs to Ron DeSantis who many are beginning to regard as the heir-apparent to the Republican Party.

If anyone is going to dethrone Trump it won’t likely be his former vice president.

Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. phil stacy

    December 1, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Pence, the candidate for China loving traitors.

  2. Steven Murphy

    December 28, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    Pence is formidable and articulate. He knows Trump’s tactics and probably a few secrets The Donald wouldn’t want exposed to daylight. This dust up with Russia comes at a good time also, and Americans will want someone in office who can-and-will go toe-to-toe with Moscow.

  3. charles

    December 28, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    Just read Pence’s book, and is true to form. So Help Me God is easy to read. Pence has the integrity that Democrats need and all conservative – caring Republicans should aspire to. The leadership would be invaluable, both domestically and nationally. I would vote for Mike Pence for President! I’m putting a sign on my lawn immediately to vote for Mike Pence for President!

  4. Neil Never

    December 29, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Mike Pence’s personal depth is about the same as the thickness of a wall poster.

  5. John J. Pellegrino

    December 29, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    I agree, Pence has no personal depth. With Pence, all I can think of was when Trump needed Pence because of the 2020 election, Pence didn’t have the loyalty to help in the slightest. Trump got 74 million votes in 2020 out of 133 million registered voters which left 59 million votes available for Biden, but Biden ended up with 81 million votes, so some crooked magic was at work there. If it wasn’t for the magic counting of votes, all of these negative allegations against Trump after Biden “won” would have never occurred, but no one seems to think about that. I will vote for Trump.

  6. william van de yacht

    January 4, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Tulsi Gabard, we need a levelheaded, qualified lady in charge to lead this country out more serious damage Please listen to her!!

  7. Mike Hanks

    January 6, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    The mentally ill is not only on the streets. Pence is a spineless man, not a snowballs chance of the nomination, too close to crackpot Trump.
    The whole GOP continues, like flesh-eating bacteria, consuming constitutional ethics and principles, they journey now, looking around for direction from ring kissers and gun toting brain dead Greene, and tour guide Clyde…wut jokes, with the exceptions of Cheney/Kinzinger, who should form a third party, and the other eight who bow only to the constitution, not to Trump/party affiliation. Change is coming…

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