Former Vice President Mike Pence‘s recent visit to New Hampshire – the first-in-the-nation primary state – is fueling speculation that he is gearing up for a White House run in 2024.

Although Pence has not yet publicly indicated what his intentions are, he told a gaggle of reporters in the Live Free or Die State last week that “I can honestly tell you in 2023, my family and I will do what we have always done. We’ll reflect, we’ll pray and determine where we might best serve, and we’ll go where we’re called.”

In the meantime, Team Pence insists that the 48th veep’s public appearances are geared toward supporting right-wing candidates in next year’s midterms.

Pence, a cultural and religious conservative whose single-term governorship of Indiana was not viewed as a success, would likely face an uphill slogging match in the race for the GOP presidential nomination because the Republican Party still held firmly in the clutches of ex-President Donald Trump, Pence would also likely be entering a crowded field of GOP hopefuls.

Trump’s persistent popularity among Republican voters remains very high. Coupled with the significant percentage of primary voters that continue to cling to Trump’s false narrative about the 2020 election having been stolen, and Pence’s refusal to go along with Trump’s plan to overturn President Joe Biden‘s victory is not endearing him with the people from whom he would need to drum up support.

On the issues that matter most to Republican voters, however, Pence, who was arguably Trump’s most loyal footsoldier up until the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6, falls squarely in line with the GOP’s political brand, be it his staunch opposition to abortion or his aversion to marriage equality.

Pence’s age could also be an advantage. He will be 65 by November 2024, while Trump will be 78.

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