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Mike Pence and Tim Scott Drop Out: Who’s Next?

Mathew Biadun | Staff Writer

Image Sourced from NBC News: Getty Images

At the end of October, Mike Pence suddenly announced the end of his bid for the Republican nomination. Just two weeks later, Tim Scott did the same, less than two weeks following his middling performance in the third debate. As primary season, starting in January, approaches, candidates will have to re-examine their chances, and decide whether or not to stay in the race. 

Both Mike Pence and Tim Scott left the race after failing to rise in the polls and collect sufficient donations to fund their campaigns. Mike Pence announced his resignation during a rally with the Republican Jewish Coalition in New Vegas, stating that, quote; “This is not my time.” Tim Scott echoed his sentiments during an interview with Fox News, where he stated that voters had told him it was “‘Not now, Tim.’” Both announcements were surprises; a member of Senator Scott’s campaign team reportedly only found out about Scott’s exit while watching the show. Both candidates were Evangelical conservatives; a faction once dominant in the Republican party, but one that has lost sway since the rise of Trumpian populist-politics.


Mike Pence had left the race while floundering to meet the requirements for the third debate, during which Tim Scott gave a forgettable performance. Only five candidates made the third debate, out of a total eight who made it onto the first one. Heads now turn to see which candidate will be next to drop out as the Republican challengers drop out. 

Ava Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, only managed to make the first debate, during which he failed to make a name for himself. His campaign has floundered ever since, failing to get media coverage, and polls nationally at no more than one percent in most polls. Rob Burgess, his campaign manager, stepped down at the end of October. Hutchinson brushed off this fact, stating that he will continue his campaign and travel to New Hampshire. 

Doug Burgam made it onto the stage for the first and second debate. While performing well during the second debate, he failed to make it onto the third, and has similarly stagnated in the polls. However, unlike many other candidates, Burgam has a large personal fortune to draw upon. He has lent his campaign more than twelve million dollars, spending more than the campaigns of Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence combined. He’s committed himself to remaining in the race at least through Iowa and New Hampshire. Without financial concerns to worry about, Burgan’s only limitation is his own desire to remain in the primary. 

Chris Christie has made it to all three debates, and has already reached the donor threshold for the fourth one. He commands a sizable influence in the early state of New Hampshire, where he was Governor, and has put significant resources into the state. Being the most vocally anti-Trump candidate, he has stated the importance of New Hampshire, asserting that it would make or break the Trump campaign. However, many have called for him to drop out for this very reason, saying that the best thing he could do to beat Trump is to leave the race, and give his share of a vote to a more capable candidate. 

Donald Trump’s main opponents - Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Nikki Haley - seem unlikely to leave the race. Instead, it seems likely that these candidates will battle out the primary season, for the penultimate prize of Trump’s frontrunner. All three candidates have resisted major denunciations of the Ex-President, in what has been broadly seen as a hope for the Vice Presidency or a Cabinet position. As debate season winds down, and the primary season properly starts, campaign rhetoric will be put to the test as voters decide who they ultimately support.

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