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Pence raises less than $1.2 million during second fundraising quarter, lagging behind GOP rivals

<i>Scott Olson/Getty Images</i><br/>Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the press after addressing guests at the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence speaks to the press after addressing guests at the Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines

By David Wright and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) — Former Vice President Mike Pence raised less than $1.2 million for his presidential campaign during the second fundraising quarter that ended June 30, according to a Pence adviser, lagging far behind several Republican rivals who have announced much larger fundraising hauls and signaling potential struggles ahead to finance his White House bid.

Pence entered the 2024 race the first week of June, with a little more than three weeks left in the fundraising quarter.

His campaign did not say whether it had reached the donor threshold to qualify for the first GOP presidential debate, which the Republican National Committee set at 40,000 unique donors, including at least 200 per state or territory in 20 or more states and/or territories.

In an interview Tuesday with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Pence said that his campaign was “working every day to get to that threshold,” adding, “I’m sure we’re going to be there.”

The Pence adviser said the campaign acknowledges “the challenges of getting into the race late” but is counting on the former vice president’s conservative credentials and his visits to early nominating states to help him gain traction going forward.

By comparison, former President Donald Trump’s network announced it had raised $35 million in the second quarter; Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised $20 million in the six weeks since he launched his campaign in late May; former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley raised $7.3 million combined among three campaign committees supporting her bid; and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott raised $6.1 million while also launching his campaign in the middle of the quarter.

Pence did outraise former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose campaign said it had brought in $743,000 in the second quarter, also raising questions about his ability to sustain his presidential bid in the months ahead.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s campaign reported a second-quarter haul of $11.7 million – $10.2 of which came in the form of a personal loan from the candidate, a campaign spokesman told CNN.

Committed to America, a super PAC supporting Pence’s campaign, said it had raised about $2.7 million since launching midway through the second quarter. The group said it has knocked on nearly 200,000 doors in Iowa as part of an extensive voter contact program in the state, complemented by two six-figure ad buys.

“It is clearer than ever that Mike Pence is the true traditional conservative in this primary, which is why we are seeing real momentum for him on the ground in Iowa. We will have the resources we need to help him win the nomination and become our next president,” Mike Ricci, a spokesman for the super PAC, said in a statement.

But that fundraising total also lags behind other super PACs supporting Pence’s rivals.

Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis super PAC, has raised over $130 million since its launch, including a large infusion of cash from DeSantis’ stockpile as Florida governor. A super PAC backing Scott said it had already raised nearly $20 million.

Pence leans into conservative agenda

Pence was in Iowa on Friday speaking at the Family Leadership Summit, a gathering of evangelical Christian voters, a crucial voting bloc in the state. The event took place against the backdrop of the GOP-controlled state legislature’s passage of a measure that bans abortion in most cases after six weeks of pregnancy. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law Friday afternoon.

Pence commended Reynolds and the Iowa legislature for advancing the abortion ban and again called on his fellow Republican presidential candidates to endorse a 15-week federal ban on abortion.

“I see my former running mate and others who are vying for this nomination shying away from American leadership in the world, refusing to even talk about the kind of reforms on spending and entitlements that would save future generations for mountain range of debt,” Pence said. “And others that are shying away from talking about the right to life or being explicit about what they’d be prepared to support as president of the United States. For my part, I’m going to stand unapologetically on the conservative agenda.”

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