It just cannot be a fun time for anyone on former Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign team right now.
Pence, nominally in third place in the GOP primary race (at least according to FiveThirtyEight), has suffered not one, not two, but three setbacks as of late, and one of those issues is of grave concern.
With the GOP presidential hopefuls divulging their second-quarter fundraising numbers, it has become increasingly clear that there are two tiers of candidates — the ones who are moving on up and the ones who are stagnating.
Guess which tier Pence is currently occupying.
According to The New York Times, Pence’s campaign has raised an unimpressive $3.9 million. Of that $3.9 million, $2.7 million comes from the Committed to America super PAC.
Worse yet, Pence has failed to receive 40,000 individual donations, an important threshold because that’s the number of contributions you need to make it to the Republican primary debate stage.
The former vice president, despite having that title and qualification, is thus far underperforming. Pence and his team were surely hoping to be in the upper echelons of the GOP primary field, not at the back of the pack.
Speaking of those upper echelons, here are some rapid-fire numbers from the Times, just 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.)
As is often the case in life, when it rains, it pours, and donation woes are hardly the only Pence campaign concern.
Currently, the former VP is battling a PR nightmare regarding his highly publicized “that’s not my concern” comment from a Republican forum in Iowa on Friday.
The event was hosted by conservative firebrand Tucker Carlson, who traded barbs with Pence about his support for continued U.S. funding for Ukraine.
Whether or not you think the context Pence noted above makes a difference, it’s still negative coverage, and Pence can ill afford any of that at the moment.
Adding insult to political injury, Pence soon went viral again, and this time for something he had literally nothing to do with.
A video of a young girl pelting a man in the head with a pinpoint water balloon was peddled as if it was Pence getting hit in the head. In reality, it was a New York county official named Bruce Blakeman.