There is no official word yet from Trump or Pence—and Trump is no stranger to making abrupt, last-minute decisions—but numerous outlets are reporting that Trump has begun to inform Republicans that he plans to select the Indiana governor as his running mate.
In a race between Pence, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Pence has been widely seen as the safest pick for vice president. He has many things that Trump lacks, particularly governing experience and strong credentials as a social conservative. He is also notably more understated than Trump as a public figure, in contrast to Gingrich and Christie, who would threaten to take the spotlight away from Trump. One thing Pence does not offer, however, is appeal outside of the hardcore Republican rank-and-file: He is strongly opposed to gay marriage and abortion, and recently signed a controversial “religious freedom” bill in Indiana, and his social conservatism will almost certainly become an issue over the next few months.
Pence may also be breathing a sigh of relief. By running with Trump, he will avoid having to run for reelection in Indiana, where he is not popular. Pence, whose hair looks like it is made of plastic, has signaled that he intends to run for president in 2020 or 2024 and losing the governorship would almost certainly sink his chances—running with Trump, though not a risk-free proposal, preserves his ability to do that.