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Who will be Donald Trump’s vice president pick? Here’s list of frontrunners

Former US President and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has narrowed his vice presidential shortlist, with an announcement expected just before or possibly during next month’s Republican national convention.
He told reporters on Saturday that he has already made his decision and that the selected individual will be present Thursday night in Atlanta for the first debate of the general election campaign against Democratic President Joe Biden.
Trump’s pick is likely to become the immediate front-runner for the Republican presidential for the next term, four years from now, if Trump secures a second term, given the constitutional limit. However, his number 2 will face immense pressure from Trump and his allies to demonstrate unwavering loyalty.
Trump turned on his first vice president, Mike Pence, after Pence rejected his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results based on false theories promoted by Trump following his loss to Biden, as NBC reported.
Pence has turned down Trump’s endorsement this time around.
Trump has stated that his primary consideration for a vice president is whether the candidate is qualified to take over as commander in chief.
But other factors are also at play: Who can raise money? Who performs well on television? Who will be most impactful on the debate stage against Vice President Kamala Harris? Who risks overshadowing Trump, especially if he is elected in November and becomes a lame duck, with talk soon turning to 2028? And who has “the look”?
Trump’s campaign has repeatedly cautioned that anyone “claiming to know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying, unless the person is named Donald J Trump.”
Given Trump’s penchant for unpredictability and drama, even the best-laid plans could change.
Here’s a look at the top contenders for Trump’s vice president pick:
Doug Burgum
Trump likes rich people, and North Dakota’s two-term governor Doug Burgum is certainly wealthy. Before his governorship, Burgum led a software company acquired by Microsoft for over $1 billion and worked in real estate and venture capital. Initially running against Trump for the 2024 nomination, Burgum gained little traction but quickly endorsed Trump after dropping out. Since then, he’s been a vocal Trump supporter, frequently appearing on TV and at fundraisers.
Burgum and his wife, Kathryn, reportedly have a good personal rapport with Trump and his team, which is important in Trump’s circle. Trump also thinks Burgum looks the part. Selecting Burgum would be similar to choosing Mike Pence: a low-profile, uncontroversial governor. At 67, Burgum wouldn’t overshadow Trump or stir immediate 2028 speculation. He also brings financial resources and wealthy connections.
However, there’s a question of whether the Republican Party wants two older white men on the ticket.
JD Vance
JD Vance, known for his best selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” has quickly become a prominent Trump supporter despite being in office for less than two years. The former venture capitalist from Ohio is a strong advocate of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda, particularly in foreign policy, trade, and immigration.
Though Vance initially criticized Trump, calling him “a total fraud” and “America’s Hitler” in 2016, he has since grown close to Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr at 39, Vance would add youthful energy to the race and could make debates with Vice President Kamala Harris lively.
However, Trump might find it hard to forget Vance’s past insults, despite Vance’s turnaround and strong current support.
Marco Rubio
Choosing Marco Rubio as his running mate could broaden Trump’s appeal, especially among moderate Republicans and wealthy donors. Despite their past rivalry, Rubio’s expertise in foreign policy, national security, and ability to appeal to Hispanic voters make him a strong contender.
Rubio can also challenge vice president Harris on the debate stage, as he is a skilled debater.
However, Rubio faces a constitutional hurdle as both he and Trump cannot be from the same state. His interest in the vice-presidential role remains uncertain, as he has been less visible than other contenders and did not join Trump at his recent trial.
Tim Scott
The only Black Republican in the Senate, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, would bring racial diversity and a preacher’s style to the GOP ticket. Known as a “born-again believer,” Scott frequently incorporates Scripture into his political speeches, engaging audiences with call-and-response.
Scott and Trump worked closely during Trump’s presidency on initiatives such as tax cuts, opportunity zones, and criminal justice reform. Despite running against Trump for the nomination this year, Scott refrained from criticizing him and endorsed Trump over Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador.
Scott has become a prominent surrogate for Trump, campaigning vigorously across key states and launching a $14 million effort to appeal to minority voters in swing states. Trump has jokingly remarked that Scott is a better surrogate than a candidate himself.
However, questions remain about how Scott would fare in debates against vice president Kamala Harris later this year.
Elise Stefanik
The only woman on his shortlist, New York congresswoman Elise Stefanik could help Trump attract skeptical college-educated and suburban women who supported Biden in 2020.
Despite her background working with Republicans like Paul Ryan and George W Bush, Stefanik has aligned strongly with Trump, defending him during his impeachment trials and earning his early endorsement for 2024. Her aggressive stance on issues like campus antisemitism has boosted her profile, though her experience as a House member raises questions about her readiness for the vice presidency.
Ben Carson
Relationships and trust are crucial to Donald Trump. Ben Carson, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during Trump’s administration, has forged a strong bond with the former president over the years, despite initially being rivals in the 2016 campaign.
Carson, a soft-spoken former renowned neurosurgeon at 72 years old, could potentially help Trump appeal to minority voters as the first Black person on a Republican presidential ticket. His age and calm demeanor make it unlikely that he would overshadow Trump or seek the spotlight.
However, Carson’s past controversial remarks on topics such as abortion and guns could present challenges for the ticket.
Byron Donalds
Florida Representative Byron Donalds, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and one of his most trusted advocates, chose to endorse Trump over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Republican presidential primary last year. Trump has frequently praised and publicly backed Donalds, highlighting their strong relationship.
Donalds has expressed confidence in his capabilities, suggesting that if elected vice president, he believes he could effectively assume the role of commander in chief if required. In a June appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Donalds stated, “I think that I have the ability to step in. I’m actually pretty intelligent.”

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