No one working for former vice president Mike Pence’s campaign can possibly be having fun right now.
Pence, who according to FiveThirtyEight is currently in third position in the GOP primary contest, has recently experienced not one, not two, but three setbacks and one of those problems is very serious.
There are two tiers of contenders in the GOP presidential field: those who are rising and those who are staying put, according to the candidates’ disclosure of their second-quarter fundraising figures.
Identify the tier Pence is presently in.
The New York Times reports that Pence’s campaign has only raised a meager $3.9 million. $2.7 million of that $3.9 million comes from the super PAC Committed to America.
Even worse, Pence has fallen short of the crucial threshold of 40,000 individual donations, which must be met in order to participate in the Republican primary debate.
Despite having that position and qualification, the former vice president hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far. Pence and his team undoubtedly hoped to finish in the top half of the GOP primary field rather than towards the bottom.
In relation to those aforementioned high tiers, the Times has provided some quick stats for comparison’s sake:
- Former President Donald Trump: Raised $35 million in the second quarter
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Raised about $20 million in the second quarter
- Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: Raised $7.7 million in the second quarter (between her and “her affiliated committees”)
- South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott: Raised $6.1 million in the second quarter
(And yes, it’s pretty clear that Trump and DeSantis are in a tier of their own. In fact, Trump is in a tier by himself at the moment.)
When it rains, it pours, as is frequently the case in life, and Pence’s campaign is not just worried about donation problems.
The former vice president is currently dealing with a public relations disaster due to his widely reported “that’s not my concern” remark during a Republican forum in Iowa on Friday.
Tucker Carlson, a fiery conservative commentator who hosted the event, sparred with Pence about his support for sustained US aid to Ukraine.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) July 14, 2023
No matter what you believe of the context Pence mentioned above, it’s still unfavorable publicity, and Pence can’t really afford any of that right now.
Pence quickly went viral once more, this time for something he had absolutely nothing to do with, adding insult to political injury.
It was marketed as Pence getting hit in the head in a video of a small child pelting a man with a pinpoint water balloon. Actually, it was Bruce Blakeman, a county commissioner from New York.
Girl who hit Mike Pence in the head with a water balloon is being called a “hero” ?? pic.twitter.com/gqYPSWj5Xa
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) July 14, 2023
Snopes fact-checked the video, but how much harm had already been done? The clip was misidentified as being Pence in several tweets, which have received millions of views.
So certainly, Mike Pence has had a difficult few days.
If his campaign donations don’t pick up soon, he might find himself with some unexpected free time.