OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s 2024 presidential campaign is likely nearing its end and could see him drop out of the race altogether in the very near future, according to reports late last week.
The Associated Press reported that Pence’s campaign finished the third quarter with a measly $1.8 million in its account, adding that the campaign also has some $620,000 in outstanding debt. Pence has also donated $150,000 of his own money to his campaign.
By comparison, the AP added, former President Donald Trump’s campaign has around $37.5 million on hand, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has $12.3 million.
Sources told the Washington Post, meanwhile, that it appears as though the former VP’s campaign is already on its last gasp:
Four months after launching his campaign with an embrace of traditional conservatism and a rejection of his former running mate Donald Trump, Pence, who once sat a heartbeat away from the presidency, now stands at a difficult crossroads. Plagued by financial problems, low polling numbers and a message that hasn’t resonated with the party base, he has been forced to confront tough realities this fall about the future of his campaign.
At the New Hampshire State House, Pence signed a declaration and handed over a $1,000 check, officially seeking to add himself to the first-in-the-nation GOP primary ballot. Pence told reporters he is a “small-town guy from Indiana” seeking the nation’s highest office and the best to lead his party. He took questions about his former running mate’s recent statements, his campaign’s troubled financial state and the chance he might not qualify for the third debate next month.
He went on to warn that “it may be obvious in the days ahead that other campaigns have more money than ours.”
This is seriously a Mike Pence campaign event in Sidney, Iowa.
It took place inside of the Penn Drug store, where about 25 or so people showed up to listen to Pence speak.
Oh, how far Mike Pence has fallen. He went from being one of the right’s favorite politicians, to one that… pic.twitter.com/uaxvFQj5LF
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) October 22, 2023
The difficulties in fundraising have also led Pence’s campaign to shed staffers, a person familiar with the decision told the Post. The extent of those cuts, however, were not immediately clear, the outlet added, noting that campaign spokesman Devin O’Malley would not comment.
“It’s not clear whether Pence will reach the threshold of 70,000 unique donors to qualify for the third debate, which will be in Miami on Nov. 8,” the Post added.
NBC News notes further: “Pence’s numbers reveal a campaign under serious strain, operating on completely different financial terrain from that of his rivals, and they raise questions about his ability to continue to compete in the GOP primaries. Racking up debt, in particular, has long been a sign of presidential campaigns in trouble — and potentially on the verge of ending. The last GOP presidential primary season offers an ominous parallel from this moment eight years ago: Then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign reported just under $1 million in the bank and $161,000 in debt at the end of the third quarter of 2015, the equivalent moment in that election cycle. That’s when he dropped out of the race.”
The outlet went on to report that the following campaign finance report after Walker suspended his 2016 bid showed that, during the final three months of 2015, his campaign racked up $1.2 million in debt, which took him a full year to raise the money so he could retire it.
“Former President Donald Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, said it had nearly $36 million available to spend on the 2024 primaries,” the outlet reported. “All of those figures are based on campaign announcements and cannot be independently verified until the campaigns file reports with the Federal Election Commission,” which were due by the end of last week.
Meanwhile, in the days leading up to the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, then-Vice President Pence made “contemporaneous notes” of conversations he had with then-President Trump, notes that were revealed in August in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of the former president.
Trump is accused of four federal crimes related to his actions following the 2020 presidential election, as well as unsubstantiated claims that the election was rigged.
Pence’s previously unreported notes are used as evidence against Trump, who has been accused of conspiring to defraud the United States, obstructing an official investigation, attempting to obstruct an investigation, and conspiring against rights.