Though they don’t often say it out loud, most Republicans wouldn’t exactly mind if President Trump did wind up being forced from office as a result of the Russia scandal. Many of them feel that Vice President Pence would be a better head of state and more in tune with the issues that matter most to them: Tax cuts for the richest 1 percent, taking away a woman’s right to control her reproductive health, and turning the United States back to the 1950s.
But while Pence may remain a very attractive option for GOP insiders, new polling data suggests that his proximity to Trump is starting to be a drain on his numbers, too.
According to the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, Pence is only viewed favorably by 44 percent of those surveyed. That’s a mere point higher than Trump scores at 43 percent.
However, when it comes to those who view the two men unfavorably, Pence winds in a landslide, with just 39 percent saying they view in an unfavorable way. Trump tops at a staggering 50 percent in that same metric.
What may be most troubling for Pence is the fact that 17 percent of voters–one in six–say they have never even heard of the Veep. If Mike Pence were a category on Jeopardy, it’s a safe bet that most contestants would avoid the subject like the plague.
As Trump attempts to weather the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Russia matter, speculation has led to various scenarios which could take place in the months ahead:
- Trump will resign when he sees the investigation is getting too close to him and his family.
- The president will eventually be impeached.
- Even if he manages to make it to 2020, Trump will face primary opposition from numerous contenders, including, potentially, Pence himself.
Just last month, an article in the New York Times alleged that Pence was already engaged in running a “shadow campaign” for the White House in 2020, realizing that Trump is getting weaker and more damaged by the day as the Russia probe continues. Pence’s press secretary dubbed the report “ridiculous,” but it makes perfect sense that the VP would be trying to position himself if and when Trump is removed from office.
However, if Pence thought he could escape the stench surrounding Trump, this new poll shows otherwise.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org