Former Vice President Mike Pence has successfully qualified for the first Republican presidential primary debate, according to recent reports. Pence’s qualification came after a surge in donations following the latest indictment of his former boss, Donald Trump. Despite being a recognizable name in the race, Pence took longer to qualify compared to other candidates like Chris Christie.
Pence’s critical stance towards Trump has not only attracted more donors but also more ire from the former president. As the debate approaches on August 23 in Milwaukee, it remains uncertain if Trump will attend. Candidates must fulfill certain criteria, including having 40,000 unique donors and scoring above 1% in a certain number of national and state polls, to qualify.
Pence has managed to score 3% or higher in some polls and has met the donor threshold without resorting to schemes or gimmicks. This achievement positions him as the eighth candidate to qualify, following Trump, Ron DeSantis, Christie, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum.
However, Pence’s candidacy has faced challenges due to his involvement in the Capitol attack and his struggle to appeal to GOP voters who want to move on from that controversial event. Seizing the opportunity to counter the criticism, Pence’s team started selling merchandise labeled “Too Honest” after Trump’s indictment. The label referenced a phone call where Trump berated Pence for not rejecting electoral votes.
Ultimately, it remains unclear if Trump will participate in the debate facing Pence. The event is sure to be a high-stakes platform where candidates will discuss their policies and visions for the future of the Republican Party.
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