Former Vice President Mike Pence has raised a paltry $1.2 million for his presidential campaign, according to two campaign aides, a sum that raises serious questions about Republican appetite for Mr. Pence in 2024.
Now Mr. Pence’s campaign is fighting to qualify for the first televised Republican presidential debate next month in Milwaukee. An aide said he has yet to receive donations from 40,000 donors, the threshold needed to enter the debate stage.
Mr. Pence, who entered the race on June 5, has always been a long-term candidate in a competition dominated by his former running mate, former President Donald J. Trump. In addition to Mr. Pence’s challenges, he is also competing against other candidates, such as Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who appeal to evangelical voters.
Mr. Pence’s repeated defense of his actions to certify Mr. Trump’s defeat before Congress on January 6, 2021, has alienated him from Mr. Trump’s loyal base without appearing to have won many converts from the wing of the Republican Party who want to move forward. by the former president.
Unlike other candidates who have used online gimmicks to secure 40,000 donors, Mr. Pence has invested little in finding contributors on the Internet. His campaign spent just $14,230 on advertising on Facebook and Google, according to data compiled by marketing and communications agency Bully Pulpit Interactive, a figure that is one-fortieth of what was spent on those platforms by Vivek Ramaswamy, a new political upstart who joined the race in February.
Admitting his struggle to raise money online, Pence’s campaign plans to spend much of what it raises on a robust direct mail program aimed at helping it amass enough donors to qualify for the first debate.
The super PAC backing Mr. Pence, Committed to America, raised an additional $2.7 million during the fundraising period that ended June 30, an aide said. For a fundraising vehicle that can accept unlimited contributions, that total is pretty small.
Other Republican presidential candidates have announced much larger fundraising sums since the three-month reporting period; some of them, unlike Mr. Pence, were in the running for the entire quarter.
Mr. Trump said his campaign and joint fundraising committee raised $35 million in the second quarter. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he has raised about $20 million. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, raised $4.3 million for her campaign and another $3 million for her affiliated committees. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina said his campaign raised $6.1 million.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who is largely self-financing his promising campaign that kicked off the same day as Mr. Pence’s, also said Friday he raised $1.6 million from donors, as well as $10 million dollars of his money. he gave to him campaign of him.
Mr. Burgum has used gimmicks like offering $20 gift cards to the first 50,000 people to donate at least $1 to his campaign, or the chance to win a Yeti cooler for a low dollar donation, all in hopes to enter the debate stage.