3. He’s is widely respected as a full-spectrum conservative – Nobody mentions it, but as recently as 2011, conservatives tried to draft Mike Pence to run for president. That September, Pence won the 2012 presidential straw poll at the Value Voters Summit that was hosted by the The Family Research Council, a social conservative group.
“If he were to run it would not be a Pawlenty-like candidacy but much more in the dark horse mold of the upstart Mike Huckabee from 2008,” says Gary Marx, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “Also, like Huckabee he has many years of experience in talk radio that makes him a communicator of the highest caliber on the stump. He would connect with the grassroots conservative base.”
Pence has all the social conservative bona fides of a Mike Huckabee, but unlike Huckabee, he’s also beloved by fiscal conservatives. When all the buzz was about Sarah Palin a couple years ago, Chris Chocola, president of the powerful fiscally conservative Club for Growth (and a former Indiana congressman), told me that Pence’s “conservative credentials are really unquestionable” and that he “appeals to every group that Palin appeals to — and probably a little more.”