Most polls suggest that former President Donald Trump is the clear 2024 favorite among Republican primary voters.
However, Wall Street Journal reporters Alex Leary and John McCormick wrote in an article late last week that Trump may have to fend off a challenge from his former vice president.
Mike Pence has been hitting the campaign trail
As evidence, Leary and McCormick pointed to how Mike Pence turned up in Ohio recently to campaign on behalf of Gov. Mike DeWine.
They called it “the latest step in a carefully managed re-emergence onto the national political scene as he appears to lay the groundwork for a 2024 presidential campaign.”
The journalist noted that during his trip to Ohio, Pence focused heavily on the problems which have grown more pronounced under Joe Biden.
“Everywhere I go across the country, I can tell you, the American people are hurting,” Leary and McCormick quoted Pence as saying on Thursday.
“Inflation is at a 40-year high, $5-a-gallon gas and higher, the crisis at our border that I saw firsthand on Monday,” he continued.
“A crime wave impacting our cities. It’s one of the reasons I’m so determined to be out supporting candidates for the House, the Senate and governors,” Pence insisted.
Pollster says hard feelings over 2020 persist
Yet while his message may resonate with many conservatives, the former vice president’s appeal is mitigated with the fact that he publicly fell out with Trump over certification of the 2020 presidential election.
“The Trump base in many states is very firm and very loyal,” Pennsylvania pollster Terry Madonna told Leary and McCormick. “That’s Pence’s problem,” Madonna continued, adding, “He has to find a way to move some of those people over to him and campaign without alienating that base.”
Trump isn’t the only potential 2024 rival that Pence may need to overcome, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also performs well in most GOP polls.
Although he has yet to give any public signals that he intends to run, The Hill reported that a straw poll taken at the Western Conservative Summit in Aurora, Colorado earlier this month had DeSantis besting Trump by three points.