Noem, Ramaswamy top CPAC poll of VP candidates

 February 27, 2024

As speculation over Donald Trump's VP pick continues to build, it's becoming clear who his supporters want to join him on the ticket in November.

A straw poll at last weekend's CPAC retreat presented two clear winners: South Dakota governor Kristi Noem (R) and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

Of course, Trump will ultimately make a decision based on his own judgment.

Top two VP candidates...

Both Noem and Ramaswamy gave speeches at CPAC, which functioned as an audition of sorts for those seeking Trump's favor.

Other VP contenders include Senator V.D. Vance, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (Ny.), Senator Tim Scott (R-Sc.), and even former Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.

Among CPAC attendees, Noem tied with Ramaswamy for first place at 15%.

The two led the pack by a good margin, with Gabbard coming in third at 9%, followed by Stefanik and Scott at 8%.

Ramaswamy's Trump-esque style and smooth public speaking made him the breakout star of the primary, despite his fourth-place finish in Iowa.

The comparatively subdued Governor Noem is another favorite with the GOP base who is also known for her closeness to Trump.

Trump leaves America guessing

Speculation about Trump's running mate has picked up in light of his early primary victories, which have all but secured his status as the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

While Trump has teased some names here and there, he has left the country guessing about who he will choose.

At a Fox News town hall with Laura Ingraham, Trump indicated that Noem and Ramaswamy were on a shortlist of candidates.

"They are... honestly all of those people are good. They're all good, they're all solid," he said, when presented a list of contenders.

Trump took many by surprise when he hinted that Ron DeSantis made the cut, despite their bitter feud during the primary. But DeSantis just as quickly rejected Trump's olive branch and accused him of using "identity politics" to make his VP choice.

A Trump-DeSantis ticket may be the least likely pairing at this stage, with the exception of Trump-Haley.

Nikki Haley's pledge to stay in the primary despite losing soundly to Trump in her home state of South Carolina seems certain to anger the frontrunner, who is already being stretched thin by a series of court battles.

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