Republican Vice President Odds: Donald Trump’s Next Running Mate

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
republican vice president

The GOP nomination in odds to be the next President has not provided much drama. So it’s unsurprising the conversation has shifted to who might win the Republican Vice President nomination in 2024. With Donald Trump’s odds showing he’s overwhelmingly likely to win the Presidential nomination, the recent Trump-less debate gave others a chance to pitch themselves. After all, Trump would choose his own running mate. For more than a few, it served as their audition tape for the Veepstakes, but they’re not the only contenders.

2024 Republican Vice President Nomination Odds

CandidatePredictIt PriceEquivalent Odds
Kirsti Noem$0.19+426
Vivek Ramaswamy$0.16+525
Tim Scott$0.11+809
Nikki Haley$0.11+809
Kari Lake$0.07+1328
Elise Stefanik$0.06+1567
All others $0.05 or less on PredictIt

Eliminate All The President’s Men?

It has been widely reported that Trump is looking at a woman to be his VP. Axios listed former Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, former South Carolina Governor and Trump appointee Nikki Haley, and current Governors Kirsti Noem and Sarah Huckabee Sanders as possibilities earlier this year. The logic for picking a woman makes sense, given Republican struggles in the socially liberal suburbs post-Dobbs.

Republican Vice President selections are almost always about getting the Presidential nominee something they don’t already have or paying back a constituency they would need in the future.

In Joe Biden’s case, Kamala Harris was the Black community’s return for having won Biden South Carolina, and subsequently the nomination. For Trump in 2016, Mike Pence was a reassurance to his Evangelical base that he wasn’t some New York liberal who’d secretly appoint another Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court.

Now, Trump needs to try and reverse the GOP’s increasingly perilous standing with social liberals, and most importantly well-off, educated ones who used to vote for Mitt Romney. The GOP’s collapse in the suburbs not only didn’t reverse in 2022 as many hoped but in some cases got worse. In the Wisconsin Supreme Court race this spring, we saw further evidence that anti-abortion stances are electoral poison in these sorts of places.

When trying to understand who makes sense as a nominee and who might get picked, understanding what they bring to the table is crucial.

Republican Vice President Nomination Contenders

It’s (Not) Raining Men

If you leave the female options, the pickings still don’t seem great. Vivek Ramaswamy has made a name for himself with his climate denial in the first debate, but he would represent a doubling down on the extremes of his base. Tim Scott would help shore up the evangelical side of his base and potentially allow Trump to pivot slightly on abortion, but Scott’s fervent Christianity also makes that pivot less believable.

Ron DeSantis has burned any chance of being the VP with the campaign he’s run against Trump. Henry McMaster is a national no-name who doesn’t get Trump anything for picking him, and Glenn Youngkin would ruin all of his credentials as a supposed moderate by tying himself to Trump.

The Lady Is A Trump

Lake seems to have taken herself out of the Veepstakes by likely running for Senate in Arizona, and her stridently pro-life positions make it hard to see how she helps in the left-trending suburbs. Noem, a favorite of the Fox-alternative right-wing news networks, and Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s former Press Secretary, are similarly ill-positioned to try and help Republicans in a general election.

Elise Stefanik was a more viable contender in 2021 when she replaced Liz Cheney as the No. 3 House Republican. Kim Reynolds should be an obvious choice as the only female governor of anything resembling a swing state, but Trump hates her.

So that’s not happening. This means there’s only one choice that makes any form of sense, and that’s Nikki Haley.

Haley has been willing to take a less strident position on abortion, focusing on the fact that a federal ban doesn’t have the votes in the Senate, and won’t under any scenario even if the GOP wins in 2024. Shutting up about a federal ban on abortion gives the GOP their best chance to stop the suburban bleeding.

Yes, she’s been occasionally disloyal to Trump, but Trump world wants her, clearly, and Trump allowed his advisors to pick his running mate in 2016. Newt Gingrich was a leading contender to be the pick for a while before his advisors came through and convinced Trump that Pence made more sense as a stability choice.

Conclusions

If Trump is going to use his VP selection to pick someone he likes, the options are wide. But if he wants to use the selection for a tactical purpose, there’s only one option. Nikki Haley represents the only viable Vice-Presidential pick if Trump wants to try and make a pick that will help him in the general election, and it’s been reported she is who his advisors want. At 11 cents on PredictIt (+809), the price is way too good to pass up.

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