It Looks Like Governor Mike Pence will be Trump’s VP Pick

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The Republican National Convention–during which Donald Trump will presumably go from “presumptive” Republican nominee to the Republican nominee–is just a few days away. In anticipation, Trump is releasing his VP pick tomorrow. Sources today are saying that Indiana Governor Mike Pence is going to be that pick.

Who is Mike Pence?

Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2012. He previously represented Indiana’s 6th District in Congress for six terms. He began his career in politics as a talk radio host, focusing on politics.

Why would Trump pick Pence?

Trump’s candidacy has been anything but orthodox, and his VP pick has been hotly anticipated. But what does Trump stand to gain by picking Pence?

Rallying the Social Conservatives

Pence is, without a doubt, a staunch social conservative. Fellow Law Streeter Alex Simone wrote a takedown of Pence back when he signed an incredibly restrictive abortion bill–women called Pence to update him on their menstrual cycles to protest the legislation. He also has a lot of social conservative street cred when it comes to his opposition to LGBT rights and his Christian background. Given that some of Trump’s social conservative positions have been questioned, Pence’s background may be part of the attraction.

More Friends 

Pence’s resume will also likely come in handy. Trump has been certainly running against the establishment, and while a lot of Republicans–including current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan–have fallen in line, Pence’s many friends on the Hill could still be a good get. Pence spent 12 years in the House, and reportedly remains deeply respected there. Representative John Carter, a Republican from Texas, told the Hill:

I’d be dancing in the aisles. He’s one of the best we’ve ever had in Congress. I’d love to see Mike Pence be the guy. It’d be awesome.

Regional Balance

Pence is from the Rust Belt–an area that Trump may need to rely on if he hopes to win the presidency. As Ronald Brownstein of the Atlantic put it during a more nuanced look at Donald Trump’s need for Rust Belt voters:

Large Rust Belt prizes such as Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin would be indispensable for any Trump general-election bid because they offer him the best chance to tip states primarily by widening the GOP advantage among the blue-collar white voters who have keyed his advance in the Republican primaries.

A Different Public Presence

Trump’s unpredictability, passion, and willingness to piss anyone and everyone off have characterized his campaign. Pence, while described by some as a “firebrand,” is more of a practiced politician. He plays to his strengths–Adam Wren of Politico described him as having an “aw-shucks Hoosier persona.” That certainly stands in contrast to Trump’s New York accent and abrasive personality and could win more voters to Trump’s ticket.

So…is Trump/Pence set in stone?

Not quite. Trump isn’t set to announce his VP until tomorrow in New York. But according to “a Republican with direct knowledge of the decision,” it’s going to be Pence.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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