Chip Saltsman, the architect of former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa caucuses victor has been helping Pence lay the groundwork in Iowa.
Pence, who resisted pressure from former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election, faces a steep climb. Of all the contenders in a still-growing field, he has been among the most forceful in drawing a distinction from Trump, challenging him, though sometimes obliquely, on everything from foreign policy to federal spending. In return, he has alienated a large portion of the MAGA base.
“Boy, if he’d never been through January 6, and had the ramifications of all that, he’d be particularly well built for the Iowa caucuses now,” said Dave Kochel, the veteran Iowa Republican strategist. “Maybe he can overcome that stuff, but that’s why we run the campaign. We’ll find out.”