5 reasons Donald Trump needs Mike Pence as running mate


Donald Trump just announced Mike Pence will be his running mate for the US presidential election.

The long-serving congressman, now governor of Indiana, is seen as a 'safe choice' for Trump, bringing a range of experience and skills to the table that Trump is currently lacking.

We take a look at why Trump chose Pence.

1. He's popular in the mid-west

Mike Pence in a red jumper addresses constituents in a small room(Michael Conroy/AP)
(Michael Conroy/AP)

Pence is one of Indiana's own. Born in Columbus in 1959, he studied at Hanover College, then moved on to Indiana University . Voters in Indiana aren't traditionally fans of confrontational politics and in this key swing state, Trump needs someone who can pull the votes in.

2. He brings political experience

(Michael Conroy/AP)
(Michael Conroy/AP)

This isn't Pence's first political rodeo. After a career in law and two unsucessful campaigns for Congress, Pence finally won a seat in 2000. He served six terms, until he was elected governor in 2012.

3. He's popular with the Tea Party

Protestors hold signs against  Mike Pence (Michael Conroy/AP)
(Michael Conroy/AP)

Pence was raised as a Catholic, but terms himself a born-again evangelical Christian. He has voted in line with evangelical beliefs on a number of occasions, and even signed the Indiana religious freedom bill into law.

The bill as it was worded when signed by Pence allowed businesses to use religious freedom as a defence in a lawsuit, which was widely regarded as letting them discriminate religious grounds. Amongst huge backlash, Pence later said he would "fix" the bill to ensure it did not allow for discrimination.

4. He's against negative campaigning

(Darron Cummings/AP)
(Darron Cummings/AP)

Pence could help to change Trump's image by giving their campaign a more positive outlook. In 1991, Pence penned "Confessions of a Negative Campaigner" for The Indiana Policy Review. In the piece, he spoke about his realisation that negative campaigning is wrong.

5. He's unflappable

Mike pence stands in front of US flags (Cliff Owen/AP)
(Cliff Owen/AP)

Pence has a reputation as a mild-mannered mid-westerner, which could act as a counterbalance to Trump's blustering and, at times, rude approach to campaigning.