Noem and Ramaswamy top CPAC choices for Trump's running mate

 February 25, 2024

As the Republican primary race lacks much of its usual intrigue, attention within conservative circles has pivoted to speculation about who former President Donald Trump might select as his vice-presidential running mate.

This shift in focus was evident at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over four days, where attendees, predominantly Trump loyalists, participated in a straw poll to determine potential vice-presidential candidates for the Republican ticket in November.

The results

Among the 17 listed names, the results announced on Saturday night revealed the following percentages:

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem: 15%, former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy: 15%, former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: 9%, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik: 8%, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott: 8% and Florida Rep. Byron Donalds: 7%.

Five of the top six vote-getters had addressed the CPAC audience, essentially utilizing the platform as an audition for the vice-presidential role.

The finalists

Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, emphasized her record during the Covid-19 pandemic, positioning herself as a trusted ally of Trump who had endorsed his 2024 campaign early on.

"Why did all these other candidates get into the race?" she asked. "For themselves? For personal benefit? To get into the spotlight for a limited time?" she said in her support of Trump.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur, adopted a strategy of openly supporting Trump despite competing against him for the Republican presidential nomination, positioning himself as a fighter in the battle for America's future.

Notably absent was Senator Scott, considered a frontrunner, who was engaged in campaigning for Mr. Trump in South Carolina.

Other options

Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic congresswoman, showcased her political journey from the left to a supportive stance toward Donald Trump.

Highlighting Trump's strengths and resilience, she emphasized his commitment to the country's future, while cautioning against perceived threats from the left.

Elise Stefanik, a congresswoman from New York, emphasized her confrontational approach in Congress and her unwavering support for Trump during his impeachment proceedings.

As speculation continues, these figures represent potential choices for Trump's running mate, each bringing their unique background and appeal to the table.

With the Republican primary likely in Trump's hands, discussions around the vice-presidential pick have taken on added significance within conservative circles, including at CPAC, where the poll added an extra highlight for those following the latest details.

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