This is a counterpoint to Ogden On Politics column on "The Pence Re-Election Dilemma: "What About Donald?". Paul believes that Governor Mike Pence (R) and his re-election campaign have a challenge with presumptive Republican POTUS nominee Donald Trump.
Paul believes that Donald Trump is beloved by the Republican base, particularly those who describe themselves as Tea Party. On that, we agree. Donald Trump has become successful with Republicans in spite of a lot of establishment forces against him. His voters in primaries often crossed economic, social, political (moderate and conservative), and (to what extent they exist in Republican primaries and caucuses) racial lines. I would say that Donald Trump is also attractive to a part of the Republican base that many don't like to bring up. Within Indiana, a lot of those "Lugar Republicans" have convinced themselves that Donald Trump has just been lying about the xenophobia and racism throughout the primary, and that may well be true since he told The New York Times in an off the record interview that "Everything is negotiable." If Pence does have try to distance himself from Trump (which I don't think is guaranteed), that could cause some extreme backlash against a Tea Party and evangelical base that perceives Pence to have betrayed them even though he's practically done their bidding over the past four years.
But I'd like to point out that Indiana is still, ultimately, a Republican state. Any election that happens state-wide will favor Republicans. The poll sponsored by Enterprise Republicans shows this.
General election match ups right now are as follows:
POTUS: Trump 40%-Clinton 31%-
US Senate: Young 36%-Hill 22%
Gov: Pence 40%-Gregg 36%
The numbers within the poll are even worse. A full third strongly disapprove of his job performance. And a plurality of undecided voters 42% disapprove as well. Some of those undecides are likely those Doughnut County Lugar Republicans who will gladly vote GOP the whole way but for one reason or another aren't ready to back Governor Pence.
In fact, in the doughnut counties, Pence only has a 48% approval rating. Six in ten of independents and nearly as many women under 45 are looking for a new Governor.
More than once, I've heard that Governor Pence couldn't muster 50% of the vote in 2012 because of US Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and his comments on rape. That didn't explain why other Republicans further up or down the ballot didn't suffer the same fate. And this year, Mourdock isn't on the ballot.
Anecdotal, but I've talked to a lot of hard core Republicans. Many of these Republicans will engage in mild birtherism and use words like "Killary" to describe presumptive Democratic POTUS nominee Hillary Clinton. And more than a few of these Republicans, particularly women, are hesitant to support Governor Pence.
So what's the explanation for Pence's numbers being under water?
I'd suggest the Governor look in the mirror and the policies he's championed while in office.