It’s no surprise at all that Mike Pence is campaigning against Donald Trump’s candidate in the Republican primary race for Governor of Georgia. Trump’s Republican candidate David Perdue is behind by 27 points and will lose to Pence’s Republican candidate Brian Kemp.
Pence sees an opportunity to seize credit for being the one who ended Trump’s influence. That won’t be what actually happened, of course. The real story will be that Pence latched onto the coattails of a candidate who was already ahead by 27 points.
But the media is still chasing ratings by pretending that Trump’s endorsements carry weight, and will continue to pretend as much until it’s forced to portray Perdue’s blowout loss as “shocking news” that Trump’s hold over voters has vanished. So Pence is trying to time his big move against Trump such that it’ll look like it has far more of an impact than it’ll actually have.
If you’re going to take the risk of picking a fight against your old boss, you have to make sure it’s one you’re going to win – or at least going to be portrayed as having won. Belatedly endorsing a candidate who’s already going to win is a common trick for trying to appear more influential than you are; Trump has been using that trick for five years now. Pence is merely doing the same thing.
There’s nothing shocking about Pence finally going against Trump, given that Trump has been done for awhile now. Since shortly after Trump left office, polling has consistently shown that roughly half of Republican voters want someone other than Trump to be the 2024 Republican nominee for President. Given Trump’s recent incumbent status, those are devastatingly bad numbers for him. January 6th ended what little might have been left of his viability, and since then we keep seeing numbers that prove he has no future as a candidate or as an endorser.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report