DemDaily: And Then There Were Eight

October 31, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the 2024 presidential election Saturday, bringing the Republican field down to a mere eight contenders.

In his surprise announcement, the former Indiana Governor said that after much prayer, "It’s become clear to me: This is not my time."

Under normal circumstances, Pence -- as the last Republican Vice President -- would be at the forefront of the field. This, however, is no ordinary time in American politics.

Although hailed by many for his heroic decision, in the midst of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, to certify the 2020 presidential election results, his defiance of then-President Donald Trump's orders cost him dearly among GOP primary voters -- 61% of which currently support Trump for the 2024 nomination.

Unable to secure his own base, and struggling to raise money and traction in the polls, Pence's decision to exit the race for the White House comes a week ahead of the qualification deadline for the third GOP presidential primary debate November 8 in Miami.

While he appeared to have met the polling criteria, Pence had not achieved the donor threshold requirement.

To qualify for the third Republican presidential primary debate November 8 in Miami, candidates must poll at least 4% in two national polls or 4% in a national poll and one early state poll. The polling must be conducted on or after September 1. Candidates must also have a minimum of 70,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in at least 20 states or territories.

The Field: The heightened debate requirements naturally accelerate the winnowing of the field, with just five candidates qualifying to-date -- down from nine in the first debate in August.

Trump, who is leading the field, did not participate in the first two debates and is not expected to attend the third. He has also refused to sign a pledge adhering to Republican National Committee (RNC) debate guidelines, which includes a promise to support the eventual Republican nominee.

The remaining four who will grace the debate stage are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Still Standing: South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who did not meet the debate qualifications.

Out: Pence joins former Texas Congressman Will Hurd, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson and conservative radio host Larry Elder in ending their brief campaigns for the nomination.

DemList will keep you informed.


DemDaily: The Debate Download 9/29/23
DemDaily: Setting the State. The Second Republican Debate 9/26/23
DemDaily: Disqualified to Run? 9/12/23
DemDaily: Debate Download 8/25/23
DemDaily: Making the Debate Stage 8/22/23
DemDaily: 2nd Quarter Fundraising Positions Presidentials 7/17/23
DemDaily: The Endorsement Game 7/6/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: AP, New York Times, Morning Consult

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