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Commentary from a political specialist from Indiana regarding Mike Pence’s decision to exit the presidential race



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Saturday, former Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement that he will no longer be running for president of the United States.

The decision to drop out of the campaign was made by the former governor of Indiana, making him the first prominent Republican candidate to do so.

“We always knew this would be an uphill battle,” Pence told a crowd of supporters at an event in Las Vegas Saturday. “But I have no regrets.”

As Pence travels back to his home state of Indiana, political analysts note that his decision to withdraw from the race comes after facing a number of obstacles on the campaign road.

“Mike Pence had been struggling to really build upon his base,” University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Laura Wilson said. “He hadn’t been leading in the polls, and he was really trying to find himself, figure out what his lane was.”

The Associated Press found that 57% of respondents in the United States had a negative view of Vice President Pence, while only 28% had a positive view of him. According to Wilson, the news on Saturday might come as a letdown to some of the voters in Indiana.

“For his supporters, this is going to be sad, quite frankly,” she said. “You know, it was (a) local guy running for the highest office in the land. But he was controversial, both when he was vice president and prior to that when he served as governor.”

Pence’s campaign will come to a close a little less than three months before the Iowa Caucus. Wilson believes that this will now limit the options available to voters, which she believes will be to their benefit.

“When you have so many candidates, it’s really hard to have enough supporters coalesce around one individual candidate,” Wilson said. “Mike Pence removing himself saying, ‘This is not my time to run for president,’ means there are fewer candidates. Voters have fewer options, and they can really try to find the candidate that they prefer.”

Wilson stated that although Pence has not publicly backed another candidate, it is feasible that he will do so in the event that the campaign becomes more competitive in the future.

“I actually think in this case, Mike Pence has a lot of latitude and the ability to kind of help lead voters that supported him to a candidate that he would support,” she said. “For voters that were Pence supporters, you still have several other candidates out there. I think you look at what your core values are, what was important to you in Mike Pence, and where do you see those reflected in the remaining candidates?”

According to Wilson, it is unlikely that followers of Pence will immediately endorse former President Donald Trump due to their political differences. Wilson speculated that erstwhile Pence backers would switch their allegiance to Trump in the event that the latter wins the nomination.

Pence did not quickly back one of his opponents on this day, but he did continue to echo language that he has previously used to attack Trump’s policies and statements.

Pence made his speech while Trump was speaking at the same event in Las Vegas; however, Trump did not acknowledge Pence’s announcement.





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