OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has indicated that he does not see much potential for a running mate among the current crop of Republican candidates contending for the 2024 nomination.
During a Wednesday evening speech in Michigan, Trump referred to the GOP candidates congregated in California for the second Republican primary debate as “all job candidates.”
“They’ll do anything: secretary of something, they even say VP. Has anyone seen a VP in that group? I don’t think so,” Trump told the crowd at an auto parts plant in Clinton Township.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told The Washington Post in an email on Thursday that Trump “was very clear in his remarks” but did not directly address whether the former president is excluding all seven candidates from the debate.
Trump made headlines last week when he indicated his strong affinity for South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem — who could be high on his “VP list.”
“I think she’s fantastic,” Trump said in an interview. “She’s been a great governor. She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement. It’s been a very good state for me, and certainly, she would be one of the people I would consider for something else, maybe. We have a lot of great people in the Republican Party.”
Trump teased that he liked “the concept” of selecting a woman as his running mate, but that he’s also looking for “the right person.”
“You always do a little bit, but I don’t think it’s time,” Trump said, per the Washington Examiner. “I want to win, and, you know, it’s very interesting about running mates, when you get down to a vice president, they said, ‘Nobody has ever made that kind of a difference.’ It’s still about the person that’s going to be president.”
TRUMP: “She’s been a great governor. She gave me a very full-throated endorsement, a beautiful endorsement actually.” https://t.co/zwWlaOHn1n
— Sean Hannity 🇺🇸 (@seanhannity) September 18, 2023
A recent report from Roll Call speculated that Trump’s “VP list” is likely down to these five Republicans, with Noem’s name likely being near the top:
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
Arizona Republican Kari Lake
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik
Not only have Trump’s polling numbers rocketed since he was hit with four indictments in New York, Washington, D.C., Fulton County, Ga., and southern Florida, but he is also moving past Biden in critical swing states, according to a new survey.
“The states that had the narrowest margin of victory for either candidate last cycle were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with Biden winning all but North Carolina. Across those key swing states, Trump is ahead of Biden 41% to 35%, and 24% of voters remain undecided, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll,” The Daily Caller reported.
“Among independent voters, the former president also held a slight advantage over Biden, according to the poll. Trump received 32% support among independents compared to Biden’s 30%, and 38% was undecided. Uncertain voters favored Biden over Trump at 49% to 38%,” The DC noted, citing the survey.
In a hypothetical head-to-head contest for the 2024 election, Biden and Trump are deadlocked at 39%, as per the survey. Many voters cited concerns about the president’s age, along with worries about the economy and crime, as significant factors influencing their choice.
The survey “found that 48% of respondents in swing states would probably or vote for Trump, compared to just 41% for Biden. Though Biden is narrowly favored overall by likely voters, with 43% favoring him compared to 42% for Trump, the Republican front-runner could win 270 Electoral College votes by seizing the swing states,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Trump has been outpolling Biden in recent months. In May, for instance, an ABC/Washington Post survey showed him with a whopping 7-point lead over Biden, Mediaite reported.