Former Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly facing an “existential cash squeeze” that could bring an end to his 2024 run for the White House.
Pence’s campaign told NBC News that filings due at the Federal Election Commission by the end of Sunday will reflect some $620,000 in debt, and that Pence has resorted to putting $150,000 in personal funds to the low-polling effort. While the GOP candidate raised $3.3 million in the third quarter and has $1.2 million cash on hand, NBC notes that taking on debt “has long been a sign of presidential campaigns in trouble—and potentially on the verge of ending.”
Donald Trump’s former number two is struggling in the GOP primary, currently standing in fifth place in the FiveThirtyEight average of national polls, behind Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and his former boss, who remains the runaway front runner.
Pence is also trailing his competitors in fundraising, according to figures released ahead of the third-quarter deadline. Haley’s campaign said it has raised $11 million, with $9.1 in cash on hand; DeSantis, whose campaign appears to be spiraling downwards, announced bringing in $15 million in the third quarter—but only a third of that can be used in the primary. Trump’s campaign said it raised $45 million between July and September, with $36 million on hand for the primary race. (Ramaswamy has yet to announce his haul.)
Amid his discouraging fundraising, Pence has decided to skip the GOP-run Nevada caucuses and instead file for the state-run primary—a so-called “beauty contest” that won’t award any delegates involved in selecting the party’s nominee. “We’ll probably have to be a little bit more selective in where we invest resources, and that was the basis of that,” he said on Friday. “But we love Nevada and we look forward to tell our story there in the primary.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee have reportedly raised more than $71 million this quarter. That amount brings his funds on hand to $91 million, which the campaign claimed is a record high for any Democratic presidential candidate at this point in the cycle. More than 493,000 donors reportedly contributed to the campaign.
“This quarter’s fundraising haul and historic cash on hand speak to the very real enthusiasm and support,” Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s reelection campaign manager, said in a statement. “These numbers are a testament to one of our core objectives early in this campaign: raise the resources needed to run an aggressive campaign that will win in November 2024.”