By choosing Governor Mike Pence as his VP nominee, Donald Trump increases his chances of unifying the Republican Party and winning in November.
Everyone in America knows the name “Trump.” From his humorous insults to his aspirations of becoming the President of the United States, Donald Trump is no stranger in the land of American media. It’s fitting, then, that he picked someone who is not as prominent in the political spotlight. With the election only months away, Governor Pence will prove to be very beneficial to the Republican nominee.
Donald Trump’s controversial antics and policy plans (or lack thereof) have angered both Democrats and Republicans alike. On the one hand, Democrats despise the 70-year-old billionaire for his rhetoric that is deemed “racist,” “xenophobic,” and “sexist.” It is, however, expected for the opposing party to disagree and attack their opponent. But to have Trump’s own party, the GOP, not fully support him is new and shocking. Trump has brought many new changes in American politics. One of the most prominent changes is a large increase in voter turnout. Before the first Republican caucus in Iowa occurred, polls showed a record number of people in support of Trump. Many, at the time, thought that this number would be much smaller – that the voters in polls would not turn up to vote. When the time came to vote, the Trump supporters made their voice loud and clear. Trump has been able to stir hearts.
Although he has succeeded in attracting new ballots, Trump is having a difficult time trying to convert the #NeverTrump “movement.” The group is filled with Republicans who are disturbed by Trump’s rhetoric and lack of conservative ideas; Republicans criticise him for his praise of Planned Parenthood as well as his financial support of Democratic politicians in the years before the election. That is where Mike Pence comes into play. Pence is seen as a very strong conservative by Republicans and Democrats alike. He is a strong supporter of lower taxes, opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, and calls for increased military spending. This makes him a conservative star, but that comes with a price. Pence has faced controversy over his position on religious freedom in America, specifically his past legislation on the LGBT community. Unlike Pence, Trump has a more moderate view. Caitlyn Jenner, for example, was happy to hear when Trump publically announced that she could use the female toilets in the Trump Towers – Pence would never agree and that will hurt Trump’s appeal to moderates and independents.
Pence is Trump’s solution to the Never Trump movement. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican and notable critic of Donald Trump, has already supported Pence as a strong vice presidential nominee. Other top Republicans have followed suit, but Pence’s services are not limited to converting devoted Republicans who have decided to “vote their conscience” this election. He also acts as a wonderful orator of Trump’s ideas for America’s future. While Clinton has years of experience in public speaking, Trump’s limited experience in political oration and persuasion can be aided by Pence’s knowledge as a former congressman and current governor of Indiana. Pence also can speak about the issues confidently – something Trump lacks. The VP candidate acts as a large sticking plaster for all the cuts Trump has faced thus far in the election season.
“I can think of no better choice for our vice-presidential candidate.”
– Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Mike Pence
Trump, however, should not begin to introduce his running mate as “Perfect Pence.” With elections that are won with the support of minorities, Trump is testing his luck by choosing another Caucasian male as his running mate. His VP candidate is not a strong option for the Hispanic and African-American community, and Trump knows this. That’s why he’s been supportive of Bernie Sanders in the past week. Mike Pence is only half of his formula for winning states in November. Instead of trying to attract minorities, Trump will focus on making sure Bernie Sanders’ supporters stay far away from his opponent, Hillary Clinton. If Sanders fanatics don’t cast their ballot at all, it will hurt Clinton’s chances more than Trump’s; Trump rarely had a chance with them in the first place, but Clinton, being of the same party, wants to gain their trust and vote. Trump will focus on making sure that does not happen.
Mike Pence will act as a unifier between the outlandish Republican nominee and the skeptical Republican establishment that has considered voting Democrat for the first time. If Trump can combine the new votes he has gained throughout the Republican primary plus the converted votes Pence will bring from the Never Trump Republicans he stands a chance against the Democratic nominee. If Trump is also able to sway Sander’s supporters away from Clinton, he will become the next President of the United States.