Mike Pence is So Unpopular That Even Hoosier Republicans Want Him Out as Governor

CNN: “Indiana GOP to Trump: Take Mike Pence, please”

INDIANAPOLIS – How much does the Indiana Republican Party and its elected officials want Mike Pence out as governor? So bad that Statehouse Republicans and members of the congressional delegation are publicly lining up for the race to replace the out-of-touch Gov. Mike Pence.

“Mike Pence’s time in office has been so toxic that Hoosier Republicans are publicly begging Donald Trump to save their party,” said Drew Anderson, communications director. “But that’s what happens when you have a governor like Mike Pence who used his out-of-touch ideology to pass discriminatory legislation like RFRA while also allowing the state’s economy to fall behind the rest of the nation. It’s clear Mike Pence never truly wanted to be governor, and Hoosiers across the board are fed up and want him gone.”

Under Mike Pence, Indiana’s lagging economy and poor income strength for Hoosiers has the entire state falling behind the national average. And while Hoosiers have to work more to make ends meet, Gov. Pence prioritized a social agenda that included RFRA, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, and a ban on Syrian refugees. To sum it up, Hoosiers are tired of their governor embarrassing the state as they are a step behind everyone else.

CNN: “Indiana GOP to Trump: Take Mike Pence, please”
Eric Bradner & Tom LoBianco

The prospect of Donald Trump tapping Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to serve as his running matehas both national Republicans and local party members salivating — but for different reasons.”

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It also makes for a good fit for Indiana Republicans, who are ready for Pence to go after a tumultuous first term in Indiana that has opened up a chance for Democrats to claim the governor’s office. If that means sending Pence on the road with Trump, all the better.

Removing Pence from the governor’s race, several senior Indiana Republican officials, aides and operatives said, would allow the state GOP to escape from the turmoil of years of social battles over same-sex marriage and religious freedom.”

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Pence, meanwhile, has had trouble in his four years in the governor’s office — struggling to grasp the reins of state government after spending 12 years as a congressman more often reacting to events than setting an agenda.”

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The first signs of trouble appeared when The Indianapolis Star scooped Pence on his own plans to launch a state-run news service. Pence’s response, including allowing the debacle to overshadow his rollout of a state-crafted Medicaid expansion, foreshadowed the crippling fight he would face on “religious freedom” just a few months later.

Conservative lawmakers, not Pence, started the push for Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which ultimately proved deeply unpopular with the business community. But the blame fell on his own shoulders, in the wake of backlash from the likes of the NCAA and others.

And at the height of the battle, one of Pence’s greatest political strengths — his unerring ability to deliver the message he wants despite dogged questioning — became a crippling weakness under the national media spotlight. In one memorable exchange, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos grilled him on national television, and Pence refused to answer direct questions about whether the law would discriminate against gay couples.

The damage to Pence’s brand was deep: His support plummeted from 62% in February of 2015 to 45% and his disapproval rating rose to 46%, according to a poll conducted by Bellwether Research for Howey Politics Indiana.

The deeper damage to Pence was among women voters — one area of weakness for Trump that Pence would be precisely the wrong candidate to help with.”

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