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Assessing Trump's Potential Vice-Presidential Candidates: Rankings and Analysis

Assessing Trump's Potential Vice-Presidential Candidates: Rankings and Analysis

Assessing Trump's Potential Vice-Presidential Candidates

An Overview

Predicting a vice-presidential selection is often a challenging task for analysts. This choice is ultimately a deeply personal one, and it's difficult to replicate the thought process of the individual making it. Moreover, Republican presidential nominees have often made unexpected choices for their vice-presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan's selection of George Bush in 1980. Notable examples include Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence, who were all somewhat surprising choices for their respective presidential candidates.

Trump's Selection Process

While it may seem particularly challenging to predict a candidate like Donald Trump's choice, it's important to give credit where it's due. Trump's selection of Mike Pence in 2016 was, in hindsight, a strategic choice that likely contributed to his presidential victory. In this aspect, at least, his 2016 campaign was surprisingly conventional. However, the aim here isn't to predict Trump's choice. Instead, we'll rank potential candidates based on who would most benefit the Republican ticket. While there are numerous potential candidates not mentioned here, such as Ben Carson, Elise Stefanik, Tom Cotton, or Ron DeSantis, we'll focus on those who have recently been the subject of much discussion:

10. Nikki Haley, Former South Carolina Governor

Haley doesn't seem particularly interested in the vice-presidential role. A vice-presidential candidate should ideally have endorsed the presidential candidate, and the relationship between Haley and Trump has deteriorated to such an extent that Trump might appear weak or desperate if he were to choose her. This choice would likely be a net negative at this point.

9. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Arkansas Governor

Sanders' advantages include her status as a female governor, her service in the Trump administration, and her support for Trump. However, she doesn't bring much else to the table.

8. J.D. Vance, Ohio Senator

Vance might have been a suitable choice for Trump's 2016 campaign when he was trying to attract blue-collar voters from Obama's 2012 win. However, if Trump needs to secure the blue-collar vote in 2024, he's in trouble. He needs to make gains elsewhere. Moreover, Vance's 2022 win in Ohio was not particularly impressive, so even if he needs to win those voters for some reason, it's unclear whether Vance is the right choice.

7. Tulsi Gabbard, Former Hawai’i Congresswoman

Gabbard's liberal voting record during her nearly decade-long tenure in Congress may be a downside. While this didn't prevent George H.W. Bush from being chosen in 1980, times have changed. Gabbard would be an unconventional choice for a campaign that, at least currently, doesn't need to think outside the box.

6. Tim Scott, South Carolina Senator

Scott seems like a good choice on paper. Trump is hoping to attract non-white voters, and the first black Senator from the South since Reconstruction might be helpful. However, Scott's performance in the debates was underwhelming, and he lacks the executive experience that some of the other potential candidates have.

5. Greg Abbott, Texas Governor

Abbott has been a reasonably successful governor of the nation's second-largest state for a decade now. His experience with the immigration issue will also help highlight a top theme of the Trump campaign for the election.

4. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Governor

Reynolds, like Sanders or Vance, doesn't immediately bring much to the table, electorally speaking. However, she does have eight years of executive experience. It also doesn't hurt that she's from a state that borders Wisconsin, which is likely to be the deciding state in the election.

3. Doug Burgum, North Dakota Governor

While Burgum might seem like an unlikely choice, his safe and steady approach worked for Trump in 2016. Although Burgum's political history is slightly left-leaning for a modern Republican candidate, it's not so far left that it would cause the problems that a Tulsi Gabbard pick might.

2. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Governor

Youngkin is somewhat like Burgum, but with more charisma and minor GOP celebrity status. If Trump believes that Virginia is in play this time around, Youngkin might add some interesting electoral dynamics.

1. Marco Rubio, Florida Senator

Rubio seems like an ideal choice. He would secure Florida and likely also Nevada and Arizona. He might even put New Mexico into play. He's reassuring to suburbanites, and beloved of anti-anti-Trump Republicans. The only downside is the residency issue, but even if neither wanted to declare residency elsewhere, the worst-case scenario would be that the vice-presidential election would go to the Senate, which Republicans probably control if Trump wins the presidency.


Predicting a vice-presidential candidate is a complex task, especially when it comes to a candidate like Donald Trump. However, the potential candidates listed above could all bring unique strengths to the Republican ticket. What are your thoughts on these potential vice-presidential choices? Share this article with your friends and discuss. Don't forget to sign up for the Daily Briefing, which is delivered every day at 6pm.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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