Politico seems shocked that Mike Pence could barely draw a crowd of 15 people at a recent Iowa event. Politico’s surprise stems from a lack of understanding of the current dynamics within the Republican Party. In a landscape dominated by the Trump base, Mike Pence is widely viewed as a turncoat and a traitor. Politico also incorrectly suggested that Pence was a “beloved” figure within the Republican Party. In reality, most people on the right understood that Pence was chosen to appease the establishment crowd. The MAGA base never had a political love affair with Pence. They initially had cautious optimism about his loyalty, but once he proved he was a traitor, he was dropped like a hot potato.
Hence, only 13 people showed up to his Iowa event.
Nearly six months into his presidential campaign, and fewer than 90 days until the Iowa caucuses, Pence is not seeing massive crowds like his former running mate Donald Trump, or his fellow Midwesterner Vivek Ramaswamy, or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, or even his longtime frenemy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Thirty folks at Penn Drug store in Sidney on a recent Friday morning; another 30 at the Olive Branch Restaurant in Greenfield that afternoon; 60 at a senior center in Glenwood the next day. Nor is he seeing anything but single-digit backing in polls. In Iowa, he’s currently averaging just 2.6 percent among Republican voters.
It’s difficult to find a political prognosticator who is not on his payroll who gives Pence any plausible shot at winning the nomination, a reality he acknowledged on the trail earlier this month. “The media has already decided how all this is going to end,” he told just 13 people at a Pizza Ranch in Red Oak. “But as you all know, I think Iowa has a unique opportunity to give our party, give our country a fresh start.” He encouraged them to “keep an open mind.”
What’s truly baffling at this point is why these losers stay in a race they know they can’t win. It’s selfish, narcissistic, and likely just a strategy to remain relevant enough to secure local and national media attention for bashing President Trump.