Former Vice President Mike Pence is slated to deliver a speech at the Hillsborough County GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Awards Dinner in New Hampshire on Thursday, sparking further speculation of a potential 2024 presidential bid.
New Hampshire’s status as the state kicking off the primaries during election season furthers the suspicions, as many wonder if the former vice president plans to toss his hat into the presidential ring in 2024.
“Hillsborough Republicans are ready to welcome Vice President Pence back to the Granite State,” State Republican National Committeeman Chris Ager said in a statement.
According to the NHJournal, “Ager says the Hillsborough GOP has sold more tickets for this event than ever before, and the top-dollar VIP reception tickets completely sold out”:
The New Hampshire visit marks Pence’s second trip to an early presidential primary state this year. In April, Pence visited South Carolina where he toured a medical school and gave an address to the Palmetto Family Council, a Christian conservative nonprofit. In his speech, the former vice president excoriated President Joe Biden and touted the accomplishments of the Trump years.
While Pence has not outlined any concrete plans to run for president in 2024, he has found himself in the top tier of candidates in some hypothetical GOP primary polls in recent months.
A May Politico/Morning Consult poll, for example, asked respondents to choose who they would vote for if the 2024 Republican primary were held today. While former President Trump dominated the field with a double-digit lead, 48 percent, Pence came in a distant second, garnering 13 percent support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) came in third with eight percent support, followed by Donald Trump Jr., who garnered seven percent support.
However, Pence performed poorly in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll this year, garnering just one percent support. Trump and DeSantis dominated with 55 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Notably, Pence declined an invitation to appear at CPAC this year, which was held in Orlando, Florida.
It remains unclear how Trump supporters would view Pence, should he choose to run, given the reports of tension between the president and Pence during their final weeks in office.
“Trump voters will give Mike Pence a lot of credit for being a loyal — a very, very loyal — vice president,” a veteran GOP strategist told NHJournal. “But obviously on January 6, the president’s opinion of him changed.”
In April, Devin O’Malley, a top aide for Pence, told Breitbart News Pence plans to advance the principles comprising the Make America Great Again movement, merging them with “traditional conservative principles,” ahead of the midterm elections.