Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's re-election campaign announced Friday that he will meet with presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over the weekend amid speculation that Pence is under consideration as his vice presidential running-mate.
Gov. Mike Pence
The move raises questions about what it would mean for his gubernatorial re-election campaign at home. While the Republican governor's embrace of social issues has brought considerable criticism from Democrats and business leaders, he is well regarded among national conservatives and brings with him the support of the party's evangelical wing. If Pence were to become Trump's vice presidential nominee, state law dictates that he could not run for both offices.Indeed, Pence's presence on the ticket would reassure traditional conservatives and evangelicals. Although many Hoosier social conservatives and evangelicals aren't wild about Pence's tenure in office, that's mostly inside baseball. Given the fact that more than half of Republicans want another nominee, Trump needs to shore up his conservative credentials.
But at the end of the day, the No. 2 person on the ticket matters little. It's the No. 1 person who wins or loses presidential campaigns. Republicans are on the verge of nominating a candidate who is greatly disliked by 70% of the voters. Trump will likely lose the general election badly and may well take down numerous Republicans with him. Governor Pence has to make a decision whether he wants to be associated with a Trump-led divisive campaign that tarnishes the reputation of everyone associated with him.