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Former Vice President Mike Pence is no stranger to Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that kick off the presidential nominating calendar.
Pence, who’s reported to be seriously mulling a 2024 White House bid, has already made three trips to each state since the end of former President Donald Trump’s administration over a year and a half ago.
But this week, Pence will turn up the volume on speculation he’s continuing the process of laying the groundwork for a White House run with back-to-back appearances in the states and visits to two iconic settings that are considered must-stops for potential and current presidential candidates — “Politics and Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the Iowa State Fair.
Pence has been crisscrossing the country for the past year and a half, helping fellow Republicans running in the 2022 elections. And with less than three months to go until the midterms, when the GOP aims to win back congressional majorities and build on their already strong control of state governments, Pence is picking up what’s already been an energetic pace.
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Those stops have included Iowa, New Hampshire, as well as South Carolina and Nevada, which hold the third and fourth contests in the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar. The four states are known as the carve-out, or early voting, states in the primary and caucus calendar.
“He’s got friends everywhere, including Iowa and New Hampshire,” a source close to the former vice president told Fox News. And the source acknowledged that “when you go to those states, you get a lot more media coverage.”
Pence will have a jam-packed Wednesday in New Hampshire, starting with his appearance at “Politics and Eggs” at Saint Anselm College. It’s the third edition of “Politics and Eggs” this year to feature a possible Republican presidential contender, following appearances in the spring by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a 2016 White House candidate, and term-limited Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
“It definitely takes the race for the White House to a higher level,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque told Fox News. “It’s a complete sellout event and that shows the level of interest in the former vice president.”
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After his appearance at Saint Anselm College, Pence will hold a small business forum in Goffstown before going where White House hopefuls don’t travel with much frequency — north of the notches to team up and help Republican state senate candidates in New Hampshire’s North Country, and later to headline a gathering of GOP leadership from the state’s three northern counties that are being held at the famed Mount Washington Resort.
Two days later — on Friday — Pence will be in Iowa for a two-day swing that includes a stop at the state fair.
“In Iowa, all political eyes are on the state—every person running for office this year in Iowa is at the state fair,” the source noted. And along with New Hampshire’s “Politics and Eggs,” the source emphasized that “it’s just one of those great places to go to get lots of attention for the folks you’re trying to support.”
While in Iowa, Pence will also headline a fundraiser for longtime Sen. Chuck Grassley, who’s running for re-election this year, and campaign with Iowa state Sen. Zach Nunn, the GOP nominee in the state’s lone Democratic-held congressional district and serve as the main attraction at a Bremer County GOP fundraiser.
Cotton headed to New Hampshire
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, will beat Pence to New Hampshire by day.
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Cotton, a two-term senator and an Army veteran who served in combat in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, on Tuesday will headline the New Hampshire GOP’s annual golf tournament, which is being held at the picturesque Wentworth by the Sea golf club in Rye. He’ll also headline a fundraiser in Manchester for Hillsborough County Sheriff Chris Connelly as well as a reception for the Salem GOP.
As with Pence, Cotton’s made numerous trips over the past year and a half to the four early voting states.
Hogan stops by Iowa State Fair
Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday became the first of the possible GOP White House hopefuls to stop by the Iowa State Fair.
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Hogan flipped pork chops at the Pork Tent, along with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, while at the state fair. He also paid tribute to law enforcement at the Heroes Tent, and earlier in the day he held a law endorsement roundtable discussion with Rep. Randy Feenstra in Boone, Iowa.
Hogan told Fox News last month during a barnstorming trip through New Hampshire that he will potentially launch a 2024 Republican presidential campaign if he sees “there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity.”
And on the eve of his trip to Iowa, he reiterated that “I want to be a voice of reason and I want to be someone in the Republican Party and the nation that’s talking about the issues people care about. I have been a national leader on some of these issues. I’ve had some success in a very tough environment in the bluest state in the country getting some of this done.”
Cruz, Noem, Ricketts, DeSantis, and Scott
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who’s reported to be mulling another White House run, and Govs. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Pete Ricketts of Nebraska — whom political prognosticators view as potential presidential contenders — were in Nevada on Saturday, attending the annual Basque Fry that’s hosted by former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, the 2022 Republican Senate nominee.
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Another possible GOP contender in 2024 — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — this weekend is kicking off a five-day campaign swing on behalf of the Trump-backed Republican Senate, House and gubernatorial nominees. DeSantis’ first stops are Sunday in Arizona and neighboring New Mexico.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate and a rising star in the GOP who’s running for re-election this year, continues to downplay speculation that he may have national ambitions in 2024.
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But Scott seems to be increasing his national profile.
Scott recently spent over $60,000 to run digital ads across the country that spotlight the senator as a “Proud Black Republican. Proud Patriot. Proud Defender of the American Dream.”