Former Vice President Mike Pence will launch his presidential campaign on Tuesday in Iowa. This puts him in direct competition with Donald Trump—with whom he served as vice president—for the 2024 Republican nomination.
The campaign will kick off with an event in Iowa on June 7th—Pence’s 64th birthday. But Pence comes from Indiana. So why start his campaign in Iowa?
Iowa plays a key role in presidential primaries. During election season, the Iowa caucuses are the first chance for real voters to give their input. If you win Iowa, you’re likely to become your party’s presidential nominee. The Pence campaign plans to hit each of Iowa’s 99 counties before next year’s caucuses.
Pence served over a decade in Congress. He also served as the governor of Indiana. Of course, Americans know him best as vice president of the Trump administration. But that relationship ended on a sour note. When Trump asked Pence to throw out electoral certificates in the 2020 election, Pence refused. He also criticized Trump for “reckless words” during the January 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump announced his own presidential campaign last November. Current polls place him as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. If Trump wins the nomination, it would likely mean a rematch against President Joe Biden.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis also launched a presidential bid. In the polls, he currently runs a distant second behind Trump. He has made headlines for his legal battle against Disney. He accuses the entertainment company of indoctrinating children with progressive ideas. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador, started campaigning as well. She currently polls behind DeSantis and Pence.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to launch his own campaign next week. Like Pence, he once worked closely with Trump. Now he’s one of the former president’s most vocal critics.
Other Republican hopefuls include U.S. Senator Tim Scott, former governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also plans to announce his campaign on June 7.
With so many candidates running, a split vote seems probable. Some experts believe this will work in Trump’s favor. DeSantis stands as Trump’s toughest competition. But Republicans who dislike Trump might split their votes between DeSantis and other candidates.
Will Republicans choose another round of Trump versus Biden? Or will they opt for a new tactic?
Either way, we can rest secure in God’s sovereignty. From our perspective, election season holds countless unknowns. But God knows everything. He remains in control.
He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. — Daniel 2:21
(Former Vice President Mike Pence talks with Iowa residents at a meet and greet. AP/Charlie Neibergall)