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Opening Arguments

Let Mikey try it?

Mike Pence's name keeps getting tossed around as a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender. Hee's a generally positive report at Bloomberg:

Pence has won praise from small-government conservatives for taking action in Indiana to back away from Common Core education standards supported by another potential Republican candidate, Florida’s Bush. The Washington-based Heritage Foundation, in a Facebook posting, applauded him for rejecting Common Core.

His allies say Pence has developed bonds with the major constituencies within the Republican Party — the small-government crowd, anti-abortion rights groups, and defense hawks — without alienating business-oriented voters.

But here's some skepticism at the conservative Hot Air site:

What’s his niche in the field if he decides to run, though? He might be too conservative for centrists who are more comfortable with Jeb or Christie, especially on immigration. He might be too hawkish and right-wing on social issues for libertarians who like Paul. And he might be too low-key for tea partiers who prefer Cruz. There’s a chance, I think, that he and Jindal would end up in the same box, as guys who are respected on all sides but who fail to excite any single constituency to the degree needed to build a movement. I see him as a potential compromise candidate if the party ends up deadlocked between the centrist champion and the tea-party champion — but then, I also see Scott Walker in the same role. Who wins if Walker and Pence end up competing to be white knight/dark horse that rescues the GOP from a bitter fight between Jeb and Rand at the eleventh hour? My hunch is that Walker does because he won the battle of Armageddon in Wisconsin, but that depends on how important immigration is in the primaries. I think Pence is more of a hawk than Walker is; he’s been a reliable borders-first guy whereas Walker is … more complicated. If Walker ends up struggling because of immigration, maybe Pence is the answer. They may be the only two guys with a legit shot to win who can play with both the establishment and the base.

FWIW, we made our poll this week about Pence running, and so far the voting is heavily against the idea. Personally, I don't see this in the cards. I think the Republican primary is going to be people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio going for the "establishment" vote and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul going for the insurgent conservative vote. Don't see where Pence fits in there.

Of course, my predictive abilities just suck, so there you have it.