Mike Pence doesn't have a prayer without Iowa evangelicals in 2024: columnist
Mike Pence (Photo via AFP)

While Pence is expected to run in 2024, many see his chances as slim since he'll likely be up against the biggest stars the GOP has to offer. Early polls show him battling Nikki Haley for a distant third place behind Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. But, according to NY Mag's Ed Kilgore, Pence could get a significant push forward from evangelical voters.

Kilgore cites a 2021 article from Christianity Today that suggests many from the MAGA base haven't taken on Trump's anger at Pence, and says that the former VP "will have the perfect testing ground for an Evangelicals-first strategy in Iowa, where slow and steady campaigning is not only effective but essential, thanks to the long buildup to Caucus Night and the dominance of activists among those who show up."

Ultimately wherever Pence goes, he's going to need "a lot of evangelical street cred," Kilgore writes.

While a viable Pence candidacy depends on Iowa, it's not clear what his next step will be if he does well. But he has little choice but to trudge ahead.

"New Hampshire has always been rocky ground for candidates of the Christian right (George W. Bush lost there in 2000, Huckabee finished a poor third in 2008, Santorum was a distant fifth in 2012, and Cruz lost to Trump in 2016 by a three-to-one margin). And while the next state on the calendar, South Carolina, is full of Pence-friendly Evangelicals, it’s the base of one or, perhaps, two rivals (Haley and Tim Scott), and Trump has already locked up significant support among Republican leaders there," Kilgore writes.

Read the full article over at NY Mag.