If Trump bows out of the 2024 campaign, Mike Pence instantly becomes one of the GOP frontrunners, perhaps the frontrunner. He can sell himself as a candidate who can both retain the Trump loyalists and appeal to right-leaning Romney-Biden voters by embodying what Trump never could: stability.

That’s not to say he’s without weaknesses: Pence’s low-key style provides an opening to more bombastic, colorful personalities in the Trump mold. To debunk the perception he can’t rally the base, Pence is already hitting the trail hard for the Republican Senate candidates in the Georgia runoff election, visiting the state four times for seven rallies so far. Look for him to continue traveling the country, making campaign appearances aimed at appealing to the Trump base without broadcasting the toxicity that turned many suburban voters away from Trump.

And as a more traditional foreign policy hawk than Trump, Pence may seize opportunities to subtly distance himself from Trump on issues regarding Russia and North Korea.