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Do Republicans already have a successor for Trump? New survey suggests they might

New survey shows Vice President Mike Pence is viewed very favorably by Republicans and independents. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A new survey by Rasmussen Reports suggests voters have a very high opinion of Vice President Mike Pence.

According to the poll, released Thursday, Pence is viewed favorably by a majority of Americans. The poll also found 63 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed believe Pence is “qualified to assume the responsibilities of the presidency.” Only 32 percent, almost entirely Democrats, believe Pence is not qualified to be president.

Incredibly, 40 percent of Democrats surveyed said, despite harboring very negative views of President Donald Trump, they believe Pence is qualified.

Although voters indicating someone is qualified to be president is not an indicator of whether they would vote for that candidate, it is a very positive sign, especially considering how much hostility Democrats have shown the Trump administration in its first 100 days.

Polling released on Friday by Rasmussen Reports shows 49 percent of likely voters approve of Trump’s presidency, with 31 percent strongly approving and 40 percent strongly disapproving. This 9 percentage point gap, which is used by Rasmussen to create its Presidential Approval Index rating, is more favorable for Trump than it was during most of the past 30 days.

At least one prominent Trump supporter thinks Pence would be a good successor to Trump.

“This is great news for the election of 2024,” wrote Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on social media, along with a link to the Rasmussen survey. “Follow 2 terms of President Trump with VP Pence. Read it and weep Dems.”

Voters could be responding to Trump and Pence’s response to recent threats issued by North Korea. Rasmussen found in a poll conducted earlier in April 86 percent of likely voters say North Korea is a “serious national security threat,” and most of those surveyed had a generally favorable view of Trump and Pence’s actions against the communist nation.

Pence made headlines on Monday when he made a surprise visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone that separates communist North Korea from democratic South Korea. Pence reportedly stared down North Korean soldiers while at the border, and in a speech on the same day delivered a strong message to the communist regime.

“President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change. We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable,” Pence said.

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