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Top 3 Contenders for Trump’s VP Pick

With the GOP convention less than a month away, former President Trump is nearing his decision for a vice presidential candidate. Three prominent Republicans have emerged as the leading contenders for the position, which could set them up as strong candidates for the 2028 Republican presidential nomination.

1. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) 

2. Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) 

3. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Burgum, Vance, and Rubio Leading the Pack

According to Trump allies and insiders, these three politicians are the most likely to be chosen, although a few others have been vetted. One Trump ally mentioned, “I don’t know how it all shakes out, but [I’m] fairly confident it ends up being one of those three.”

Over the weekend, Trump hinted to reporters in Philadelphia that he had decided on his VP pick but had not disclosed it to anyone yet. The chosen candidate is expected to join Trump at the Thursday debate with President Biden. Burgum, Rubio, and Vance, along with other GOP lawmakers, will also attend a fundraiser with Trump in Atlanta after the debate.

Trump campaign senior adviser Brian Hughes stated, “As President Trump has said himself, the top criteria in selecting a Vice President is a strong leader who will make a great President for eight years after his next four-year term concludes. But anyone telling you they know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying unless that person is named Donald J. Trump.”

Intrigue and Speculation

The process of selecting Trump’s running mate has been a hot topic in Washington, especially during a primary season with little drama due to Trump’s dominance. Trump has been dropping hints for months about his shortlist and potential announcement timing. While he might announce his VP pick at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next month, the decision could also come as early as July.

Candidate Profiles

  • Doug Burgum: Known for his transition from the business world to politics, Burgum has been active in defending Trump on television and attending his events. Though less known nationally, Burgum is favored for his disciplined messaging and personal rapport with Trump. However, his traditional conservative stance might not excite Trump’s base or attract moderate voters.
  • JD Vance: A face of the next generation of the America First movement, Vance has actively supported Trump at fundraisers and rallies. Despite his past criticism of Trump during the 2016 cycle, he has a strong advocate in Donald Trump Jr. Vance’s youth and alignment with Trump’s policies make him a strong contender, though Trump might prefer Vance to remain a leading voice in the Senate.
  • Marco Rubio: Despite their past rivalry, Rubio has developed a working relationship with Trump. Rubio could appeal to moderate Republicans and minority voters, but he has not aggressively pursued the VP role. Additionally, Rubio would need to relocate due to constitutional requirements if he joins the ticket, which could complicate his candidacy.

Other Contenders

Other Republicans who received vetting materials but are considered second-tier candidates include:

  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
  • Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson

Impact on the Election

Despite the anticipation, there is skepticism about the VP pick’s impact on the election outcome. Trump himself has downplayed its significance, stating at a February Fox News town hall, “The one thing that always surprises me is that the VP choice has absolutely no impact. It’s whoever the president is, it just seems.” Democrats have also focused on Trump, suggesting his VP will align closely with his policies on key issues.

Vice President Harris commented, “Without knowing that person’s name, we already know it’s someone who wants to ban abortion. Every person on his shortlist either supported a ban in their states or supported a national ban.”

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