Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has essentially clinched the GOP nomination, as he has reached the magic number of delegates needed and all of his opponents have dropped out of the race.
Now, the attention has turned to Trump’s crucial selection of a running mate. The businessman has repeated his intention to choose an experienced politician, and there are several good options for the GOP presumptive nominee.
Looking forward to Trump’s decision in the coming months, The Hill composed a list of the 10 candidates most likely to be tapped for the prestigious position.
1. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Kasich would bring a lot to a Trump presidency. He has made a national name for himself as a successful governor of Ohio and in his own race for the presidency.
As a veteran congressman who chaired the House Budget Committee and served for 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee, Kasich also possesses depth in government experience that Trump is lacking in issues, such as the budget and national security.
Most importantly, however, Kasich would be able to help secure Ohio — which typically swings with the presidency — for the GOP in November. He has been extremely popular in the state and could draw from his successes to convince voters to mark their ballots for the Republican ticket.
Unfortunately, the Ohio governor has repeatedly stressed that he’s not interested in the vice presidency under anyone, including Trump. Furthermore, he does not bring any diversity to the table, which could be crucial in the general election.
2. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker
Corker would be an invaluable pick if Trump wants someone to help him navigate Congress. As a senior lawmaker, the senator not only has the extensive experience needed, but he’s also trusted and praised by his colleagues — particularly as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Corker has not said if he would be interested in accepting the nod from Trump, but he did visit Trump Tower in Manhattan last week. The senator said the two were simply discussing foreign policy and nothing more, but he definitely seems like a fantastic pick.
The only drawback to selecting Corker is that he is an older white male from Tennessee — a demographic Trump will likely win regardless of his running mate.
3. Rep. Marsha Blackburn
The Tennessee lawmaker has expressed interest in the vice presidency position, according to The Hill, and she would be an excellent pick for Trump for several reasons.
She has experience in health policy, which could be beneficial to Trump’s promise to replace Obamacare. Additionally, having a woman on the ticket could do wonders for Trump’s appeal. Not only could she effectively reach out to female voters, she could also help negate charges from Hillary Clinton that Trump and the GOP are anti-woman.
Unfortunately, Blackburn has little foreign policy experience, which doesn’t mesh well with Trump, who also lacks in that area. Furthermore, Tennessee will almost certainly go to Trump regardless of running mate, so her selection doesn’t necessarily help pick up any crucial states.
4. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
Carson has been a great ally for Trump in recent months, and he has been well-liked by most conservatives across the country for his stance against political correctness. Furthermore, he could help Trump appeal to both minorities and evangelicals.
However, the retired neurosurgeon does not have any political experience, which is something Trump has stressed as important when he makes his selection.
He could also be seen as a risky choice for Trump, as there have been times where Carson has said things Trump probably wasn’t too happy about. For example, he once claimed that there were “probably” better people than Trump who could be president.
5. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
As a governor, Fallin would bring crucial executive experience to Trump’s campaign, which could serve as a reassurance to hesitant GOP voters about the seriousness of a Trump presidency.
Furthermore, Fallin has been quite popular as the head of the Oklahoma government, and she obviously would help Trump and the GOP appeal to female voters.
However, the governor has not made herself well-known on the national stage, and she also doesn’t help Trump secure any swing states, as Oklahoma has been a typically red state.
6. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Christie also brings the all-important executive experience that could help Trump learn the ropes of governing. In addition, he has experience as a prosecutor, something voters have respected about the candidate in the past.
Unfortunately, Christie lost some of his former popularity, particularly in his home state, when he endorsed Trump after suspending his own campaign.
Like many others, Christie also represents a demographic of voters — middle-aged, white males — that Trump will likely have no problem securing, with or without the governor.
7. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst
Ernst could be an excellent choice for Trump’s running mate, as she would appeal to both female and young adults. Furthermore, she has been an outstanding communicator and Trump could trust her to speak on his behalf around the country.
She also would bring the political experience Trump has sought, as a lawmaker in Washington, D.C., who has close ties to top legislators but has remained close to conservative grassroots.
Ernst has not expressed interest in the position, but she has less than two years of experience on the Hill after winning her seat in 2014 and likely doesn’t want to ditch her Iowa constituents so soon.
8. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Gingrich has been a longtime ally of Trump, as the two have known each other for years and talk regularly, with Trump turning to the former house speaker for political advice.
The outspoken former Georgia representative has also remained well-liked by most Republicans, and he has also remained connected to lawmakers in D.C.
However, the voters have made it very clear that they’re tired of career politicians and the GOP establishment, so choosing Gingrich may not bode well among some. In addition, he is an older, while male who likely won’t bring any new votes to the ticket, and he certainly won’t be appealing to any minorities.
9. Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Brewer was one of the first major political figures to fully endorse Trump, and she has been a staunch advocate for the candidate since doing so in late February. Brewer has also been a harsh critic of Clinton, which would prove useful in the general election.
However, Brewer left office in 2015, and has not been a huge presence on the national scene since, which could be a downfall as voters don’t have any recent credentials to look at when determining her capability.
10. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions
Sessions’ endorsement was one of Trump’s biggest and most beneficial during the primaries, as he solidified the belief that Trump would be tough on issues such as immigration and trade.
Since his massive endorsement of the candidate, the Alabama lawmaker has helped Trump understand the issues and introduced him to several key players in D.C. In fact, Sessions has been leading Trump’s national security policy team.
Although the popular senator would bring extensive experience to the ticket, he doesn’t secure any at-risk demographics or states, as he is an older white male from Alabama.
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