Former Vice President Mike Pence announced the end of his presidential run Saturday, October 28. “It’s become clear to me it’s not my time,” Pence said during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference.
A Lackluster Performance for Pence
The RCP average for the period ending October 22 showed Mike Pence polling at just 3.3%, coming in fifth place out of the nine Republican candidates tracked by RealClearPolitics. Trump came in first, of course, at a whopping 58% – quite an impressive number considering the fact his next nearest challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, polled at just 14.7%. Between DeSantis and Pence are former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (7.7%) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (4.0%).
Pence has consistently polled in the single digits, despite standing out in the first GOP primary debate, and he has lagged behind in fundraising, as well. Filings show the former VP raised just $3.3 million during the third fundraising quarter and that he ended September at about $1.2 million in cash on hand. DeSantis, on the other hand, raked in $15 million. Even Haley raised $11 million. The clear frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, dominated the fundraising field by bringing in $24 million in that same time period.
Just Not His Time
“It’s become clear to me it’s not my time. I’ve decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,” Pence told the Conference and the world. “To the American people, I say: This is not my time, but it is still your time.”
Those who supported Pence for president will now find another candidate to rally behind – and given his criticism of his former boss, that seems unlikely to be Trump. That said, Pence’s following is smaller than the shortest gap between candidates in the top four. Even if every Pence supporter chose the same replacement, they wouldn’t be enough for Christie to bump Haley out of third place or for Haley to overtake DeSantis – and it should go without saying that they wouldn’t move the needle significantly for DeSantis compared to Trump.