Trump's VP shortlisters bring various strengths and weaknesses to ticket

 April 22, 2024

Former President Donald Trump's VP pick will be the next massive story to dominate the headlines. 

Several shortlists have been leaked or hinted at in recent months, and many political observers believe that Trump will be highly strategic in who he ultimately selects -- someone that may not be the most popular with his large base of support, but rather someone who can appeal to middle-of-the-road voters.

According to the Daily Mail, Trump has dropped several big names during recent rallies to gauge a response. A new poll revealed where each of his most likely VP picks stand.

"J.L. Partners asked 1000 likely voters for their thoughts on VP picks to run against Joe Biden and Kamala Harris" according to the outlet, and the results were quite interesting -- if not surprising in some cases.

What's going on?

Each of Trump's potential VP picks has different strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, in the results from the poll, Vivek Ramaswamy tops the list at churning out the most Republican voters on Election Day. He's definitely the "hype man" addition to Trump's team should he feel he needs to drum up more excitement.

In a surprising result, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tops the list at being able to peel away the most Democratic voters from Biden and Harris, which in a tightening race could be a massive and game-winning chess move for the former president.

Selecting Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) or Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) could be a major strategic move to shore up more of the crucial Black vote. Trump's doing better than he was with Black voters in previous elections, but there's still a long way to go.

The Daily Mail noted:

Trump wins by one point when Rubio, Ramaswamy, and Scott are on the ticket. But he loses with Stefanik, Haley or Noem.

The poll indicated that Sens. Rubio and Scott were most likely able to reach Democratic voters.

Poll analysis

"Though the numbers are tight, our ballot tests with different VP candidates show that different options give a range of paths for Trump, some more optimal than others," said James Johnson, cofounder of J.L. Partners.

He added, "The VP candidate with the widest reach does appear to be Marco Rubio: He does best amongst non-graduates, women, and over-65s, the latter two groups being key defence areas for Republicans in the coming election."

Many have also suggested Trump go with someone like former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent. Many believe she can reach female voters in the middle, which is a critical voting bloc.

Only time will tell who Trump chooses.

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