As the Republican primaries take center stage, the question of who former President Donald Trump might choose as his running mate in the 2024 election has stirred considerable interest and discussion.
Although the first contests for the nomination are still months away, Trump and his supporters assert that he has a firm grip on the lead. Consequently, this early claim has sparked competition among prominent Republicans vying to be considered for the role of vice president alongside him.
Among the prospective candidates are loyal Congress members like Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Other figures within the party, such as former Arizona television host Kari Lake, have also garnered attention. Even Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, a notable critic in the past, is reportedly becoming more amenable to aligning with Trump and potentially serving as his running mate.
When choosing his running mate for the vice presidential position, Trump has a wide range of options in mind. He has hinted that he might even consider tapping a rival from the ongoing 2024 competition. In a social media post, he expressed his intention to assess the participants in the upcoming GOP presidential debate before deciding.
While the Trump campaign declined to comment on the matter, close aides and allies have started brainstorming potential candidates who could complement him on the ticket for the general election against the anticipated Democratic Party nominee, President Biden. Despite the discussions, Trump remains primarily focused on the ongoing GOP primaries, where he has established a strong lead in opinion polls. When considering a potential running mate, he prefers one with a successful track record, a similar agenda, and compatibility with the media.
Numerous Republicans have shown interest in the position without actively campaigning for it. The decision on a vice-presidential candidate might not be imminent, as historical patterns indicate that candidates usually make their selection ahead of the summer party conventions.
Some aspirants are working to demonstrate their allegiance to Trump as they navigate their ambitions and signal their readiness to step into the role should the opportunity arise. For instance, Kari Lake, who narrowly missed winning the governorship of Arizona in 2022, has hinted at a Senate run in the upcoming fall. Nevertheless, she remains open to becoming Trump’s running mate if he extends an offer.
Lake’s unwavering support for Trump has been evident in her travels across the country to champion the pro-Trump agenda and challenge the legitimacy of her own election loss. She has also shown her commitment by visiting Trump-owned properties. Following recent legal developments, Lake called on all presidential candidates to rally around Trump.
At a recent gathering of conservative activists hosted by Turning Point Action, a straw poll identified Lake as the top choice for vice president, with nearly one-third of the participants’ votes in her favor. Despite gearing up for a Senate run, Lake’s advisers are already seeking potential staff members for the campaign, and she has hinted at her intention to join the race publicly. Even if she does enter the Senate race, it doesn’t rule out her readiness to switch her focus to the vice-presidential spot.
Lake’s previous statements suggest that she would heed any request from Trump. Lake also tweeted her support of Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida as a potential running mate for Trump. Donalds, who garnered second place in the straw poll, acknowledged the honor of being a favored candidate among activists but clarified that he hadn’t received any communication from Trump’s inner circle.
Some individuals have expressed their lack of interest in the vice-presidential role. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated that he’s focused on winning his current race and isn’t pursuing the vice presidency. Similarly, Mike Pence, Trump’s previous pick for two campaigns, has distanced himself due to disagreements over Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Ari Fleischer, who previously served as the press secretary for President George W. Bush, pointed out that the criteria for choosing a vice-presidential candidate have changed. The conventional notion that a candidate should bring certain assets, such as securing a competitive state or demographic, is less relevant in the contemporary political landscape dominated by views on Trump.
Turning to prominent figures in Congress, Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican in charge of messaging, has expressed her interest in the vice-presidential role. Stefanik, known for her strong alignment with Trump, has refrained from actively pursuing the position, instead focusing on her current duties and continued support for the former president.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, another Trump ally, has indicated that she would consider an offer from Trump but hasn’t engaged in direct discussions with him. Greene is well known for her staunch support and has actively defended Trump during his first impeachment proceedings. “She’s a warrior,” Trump told a Georgia crowd at the GOP convention in early June.
Rep. Nancy Mace’s potential shift from a critic to an ally is noteworthy. Despite her initial reservations and vocal criticisms, Mace has become more receptive to backing Trump, especially considering his strong lead in the GOP nomination race. Given South Carolina’s significance in the nominating process, her endorsements could carry more weight.
As the 2024 election landscape takes shape, figures like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who had been previously seen as a potential presidential contender, have indicated varying levels of interest in the vice-presidential position. Noem has refrained from endorsing Trump but acknowledged his dominance in the nomination race.
During a recent interview, Trump suggested the idea of having a primary opponent as his running mate. Although he did not give any details, he spoke highly of individuals like Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who have already stated their disinterest in the number two position.
The standards for choosing a vice-presidential nominee have shifted due to the current political landscape. The divide between pro- and anti-Trump sentiments has decreased the emphasis on certain attributes, creating heightened anticipation and speculation around Trump’s eventual selection.