Ranking Trump's VP options

December 4, 2023

Although an official decision is months away and primary voting has not yet begun, the Hill's Brett Samuels gave a ranking of former President Donald Trump's options for Vice President on Saturday. 

Trump is 20 points or more ahead in state GOP primary polls and 60 points ahead nationally, making him the presumptive nominee.

Noem at the top

At the top of Samuels' list is South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem said she would "absolutely" be interested in a position as Trump's VP, and he has indicated that she is on his short list.

Her policies are a match to Trump's, and she has already endorsed him for 2024. At 52 years old, Noem would also bring youth to the ticket in case anyone was worried about Trump's age.

Just about the only drawback to Noem's selection is that her state is small, not a swing state, and wouldn't be able to contribute much to the race.

Scott and Stefanik

Next on the list is Sen. Tim Scott (GA), who was a candidate in the race until recently. Scott has strengths as a fundraiser, is a person of color, and professes a strong faith.

In the drawback column, he declined to endorse anyone, including Trump, when he dropped out of the race in October.

Next, Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY) makes a strong showing because of her unwavering support for Trump and conservative policies.

While she comes from a much bigger state, New York is unlikely to go Republican even if she is in the race.

Sanders and Haley

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is another strong contender, but besides being a strong female conservative and endorsing Trump at a rally last month, she doesn't have swing state status or anything else to strongly recommend her.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley could be another choice for Trump. She worked in his administration, but she's also a current rival in the race gaining steady ground on Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been second in most polls for a while now.

She has been increasingly critical of Trump in recent weeks and months, however, which makes it less likely that he would choose her.

Lesser candidates

The last three candidates on Samuels' list are Vivek Ramaswamy (not a politician, likes Trump, but is also in the race), Mike Pompeo who served in his administration and remains a supporter, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) who is pretty out there but really likes Trump.

Certainly, he has no shortage of good choices, but it will be a while until we find out who he wants.

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