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When Mike Pence held his nose and agreed to become the running mate of a man he found deeply offensive, he clearly hoped the decision would one day result in his own election to the presidency. But new polls out this week indicate that Pence’s hopes of ever ascending to the Oval Office are slim to none, especially now that President Donald Trump is talking about running again in 2024.
A Newsmax/McLaughlin poll of Republicans and independents who vote in Republican primaries found that a whopping 68 percent would pick Trump in the 2024 primary out of a field of 13 other candidates including Pence and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Among Republican voters alone, 53 percent told pollsters they’d pick Trump in the primary, with Pence trailing at just 9 percent. And if Trump doesn’t run, Pence may be duking it out with Trump’s oldest son, Don Jr., who tied with Pence for the lead at 20 percent. “In a crowded field of 14 possible candidates for the 2024 Republican primary, no one comes close to President Trump,” pollster John McLaughlin told Newsmax.
The Newsmax poll echoes findings from a Morning Consult poll for Politico released earlier this week that found Trump was the preferred 2024 candidate of 53 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters polled, with Pence trailing at a distant 12 percent and Don Jr. coming in with 8 percent.
While Pence was previously a congressman from Indiana and later the state’s governor, Don Jr. has never run for office, though he’s been talking about it for a while now, after declaring that “going back to doing deals is boring.” He just has to find a state that will have him. His liberal home state of New York is not about to elect him governor, nor will New York City voters make him mayor—a prospect even his father has scoffed at when he suggested the possibility. “I have friends in flyover country,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity last year, suggesting that his best political prospects lay in a red state somewhere. But so far, the Trump scion hasn’t shown much interest in actually living in a red state like Kansas or Mississippi. Skipping right over lower offices to run for president as a New York exile would certainly solve his residency problem without forcing him to relocate to one of those decidedly less glamorous locales.