Speculation about Trump's running mate heats up

 December 24, 2023

USA Today is the latest outlet to publish a list of individuals whom former President Donald Trump might choose to be his 2024 running mate. 

The speculation largely stems from the fact that Trump continues to dominate 2024 Republican Party presidential primary polls.

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump currently leads his next closest Republican rival - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) - by an overwhelming 52.2 percentage points.

For this reason, it has become somewhat of a foregone conclusion that Trump will win the upcoming Republican primary, and this is why there has been - and continues to be - so much speculation about whom Trump will choose to be his running mate.

USA Today's "potential contenders" list

The outlet puts forth nine possible running mates for Trump.

The list includes U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R), and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Many of these names - such as Noem, Sanders, Stefanik, and Lake - are no surprise. These individuals tend to be included in just about every speculative report about Trump's running mates, such as this one from Axios.

Some of the other names, however, are a surprise. Perhaps, the biggest surprise of all is Haley being on the list. What makes this so surprising is the bad blood that appears to exist between Trump and Haley, not to mention the fact that Haley is not exactly a "MAGA Republican."

But, USA Today's argument for Haley to be Trump's running mate is that she might be able to attract, for example, independent voters who otherwise would not vote for Trump.

Trump squashes running mate gossip

Trump, in recent months, has not really said much about potential running mates.

In fact, during the interview that he did, in September, with NBC, Trump said that he really has not put much thought into whom his running mate is going to be.

Trump, however, did say that he "likes the concept" of choosing a woman to be his number two and that he is "going to choose the best person" for the job.

For now, however, Trump's campaign says that the former president is focused on winning the Republican primary.

In a statement to USA Today, Trump's campaign said:

Second term policy priorities and staffing decisions will not - in no uncertain terms - be led by anonymous or thinly sourced speculation in mainstream media news stories. President Trump is solely focused on winning the Republican nomination for president.

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