2024 presidential electionDonald TrumpFeaturedGovernor Kristi NoemVice President

Too Soon for Veepstakes? – HotAir

It’s probably too soon but with the way this presidential cycle’s Republican primary is going, maybe not. It’s fun to speculate.

Who will Donald Trump choose as his running mate this time around? It won’t be his former vice president, Mike Pence. We know that. Pence was a very good vice president and a loyal partner for Trump, until January 6, 2021. Pence did his duty and Trump hasn’t forgiven him. Neither have Trump’s loyal base of supporters.

The betting website Oddschecker has a list of the four most likely candidates for vice president. Let’s go through those names and then I’ll let you know what I think.

The four top picks for Oddschecker are South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Vivek Ramaswamy, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Dr. Ben Carson. This seems like a reasonable list. I’ve heard all those names mentioned as pundits play the parlor game of veepstakes.

Kristi Noem: Governor Noem is a heavy favorite. She is a popular governor in her state, but if Trump has an eye on electoral votes, as candidates traditionally do when picking a running mate, South Dakota has 3 electoral votes. South Dakota is a solid red state. In 2020, Trump won with 61.8% of the vote to Joe Biden’s 35.6% of the vote. She isn’t a big asset for electoral votes but she is a smart and articulate conservative woman. She could be a good balance to Trump’s personality. She wouldn’t be chosen just because she is a woman but she’s a woman with a good political resume. She has been a state representative and a member of the House of Representatives. Now she is Governor of South Dakota. Her resume is very much like Pence’s but with less time in elected office because she is younger. She is 52-years-old. Her age is an asset to ease any fears about Trump’s age. Sure, Trump is doing ok now but his age is a concern. He is 77-years-old. He will be 81-years-old after a four year term. Trump is a smidge younger than Biden but not much. The difference is that Biden shows signs of dementia and looks and sounds feeble. Trump is slowing down but looks a lot stronger than Biden. Governor Noem would be assurance of a younger, healthy vice president who could take over, if needed.

According to the latest odds, Noem has a +375 (15/4) chance of becoming Trump’s next running, with an implied probability of 21 percent.

Noem continually praises Trump on social media, and recently hosted a campaign rally for him in neighboring Iowa.

“She’s clearly positioned herself as a national figure in Republican circles and one who is a Trump loyalist to boot,” Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, told the South Dakota News Watch.

Vivek Ramaswamy: Ramaswamy suspended his campaign on Iowa caucus night and endorsed Trump. Vivek is a loyal Trump supporter and is now campaigning with him. Like Noem, he appears to be very open to working in the second Trump administration. Many Republican voters thought he was a Trump surrogate in the primary. Vivek and Trump had a little last minute dust-up before the Iowa caucuses but that seems to have blown over now that Vivek got out of he race and endorsed Trump. One Trump surrogate said it won’t be Vivek.

According to Oddschecker, Ramaswamy’s chances of becoming Trump’s next running mate surged after the Iowa caucuses, rising from +740 (37/5), or an 11.9 percent probability to +650 (13/2), and now has a 13.3 percent implied probability.

However, Trump attacked Ramaswamy in a Truth Social post on January 13 as being “not MAGA” and accused his campaign of being “deceitful.”

Prior to the Iowa caucuses, top Trump adviser Jason Miller also poured cold water on suggestions that Ramaswamy could be Trump’s running mate, recently telling the New York Post: “Pretty safe to say it won’t be Vivek.”

Elise Stefanik: Trump is impressed with Stefanik because he thinks she is “a killer.” She proved that in her questioning of the anti-semitic college presidents. She did a very good job during that House hearing. She is young at 39-years-old and has a toddler-aged son so she would bring energy to the ticket. Stefanik was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump. She is campaigning with him in New Hampshire. She is a New Yorker. New York will not be going for Trump in November. Most importantly, though, is Stefanik is loyal to Trump. Like Noem, she is a solid conservative woman.

Oddschecker currently has her +700 (7/1) to be Trump’s next running mate but suggested that she actually has “better odds of becoming vice president over Ramaswamy, despite what oddsmakers are currently predicting.”

A recent NBC report said Stefanik is on the list of candidates whom Trump wants as his next VP.

“If you’re Trump, you want someone who’s loyal above all else,” a Republican campaign operative said. “Particularly because he sees Mike Pence as having made a fatal sin.”

Ben Carson: Dr. Carson is an interesting addition to a top four list. I’ve seen his name bantered about but I don’t know that I believe it. He was a member of Trump’s administration as secretary of housing and urban development. He is very smart and he articulates conservative principles well. I just don’t see the pairing on the ticket.

As well as a potential female running mate, there has also been talk of Trump picking a person of color to broaden his appeal in 2024, with Carson’s name being touted late last year.

However, the suggestions appeared to be more wild speculation, rather than any real indication from Trump.

Oddschecker is offering odds of +800 (8/1) on Carson being named Trump’s next running mate.

Here’s my hot take – I think it may be Kristi Noem. She is the name I hear most often, if that means anything. Trump may surprise everyone and pick someone not on anyone’s radar. Trump said he has already made his choice during a town hall on Fox News Channel. He made a joke about Chris Christie but didn’t give any clues about his choice.

In the meantime, your guess is as good as mine. It’s a fun game that’s played every four years with non-incumbent candidates.

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