What if Trump doesn’t run? Here’s who gets the GOP nomination.

The genuine surprise from Pence has been his willingness to firmly defend his refusal to help Trump steal the 2020 election, and even — gasp! — to say that Trump was wrong about what happened. Yet Pence has managed this without coming across like a total, abject, unrepentant traitor like Rep. Liz Cheney. Yes, many Trump voters probably remain furious with Pence. But here and there, you can spot Republicans winning primaries despite having refused to assist Trump’s schemes. — Greg Sargent

Trump supporters who blame Pence for not going along with Trump’s scheme need to remind themselves that Pence had the courage to run with Trump in 2016 and demonstrated time and again — including in the 2020 debate with Kamala D. Harris — that no one, including Trump, better articulated or defended Trump’s policies. The backbone Pence demonstrated on Jan. 6, 2021, won admirers from across the aisle, making him a formidable general-election candidate. — Gary Abernathy

Yes, the MAGA base wanted to hang him last year. Yes, the MAGA base probably still wants to hang him. The only way he becomes the nominee is (a) if the Republican Party wakes up from its Trumpian nightmare and (b) if the evangelical Christian wing assumes leadership. Unlikely. But unlikely things happen all the time these days. — Eugene Robinson

Poor Mike Pence. He’s a true profile in courage because of what he did on Jan. 6, but his taciturn refusal to make that a defining feature means he’s getting all of the hate from Trump diehards and none of the potential upside. He’s still strong with establishment types, but he has been slow to adapt to the culture-warrior mind-set many in the GOP want. — Henry Olsen

Source: WP