The Republican presidential primary calendar won’t officially kick off until the Jan. 15, 2024, Iowa caucuses, but former President Trump’s dominant position in the polls has already sparked chatter about who could join him on a general election ticket.
Trump is leading his primary rivals by an average of 60 percent at the national level and more than 20 percent in state surveys, creating a sense that the nomination is his to lose.
Some have started to look beyond the primary calendar and toward a rematch between Trump and President Biden, with former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others weighing in on who should join Trump on the GOP ballot.
Trump himself has offered fleeting insights into his view on a potential running mate. He told NBC’s Kristen Welker in a September interview that he liked the concept of picking a woman, “but we’re going to pick the best person.”
Here’s a look at some of the politicians seen as possible Trump running mates, ranked from most likely to less likely.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem
Noem for some time has been seen as a favorite to be Trump’s next running mate.
She has made clear she would be interested in the job, and she is one of the rare potential picks who Trump has publicly acknowledged would be on his list of possible candidates.
“Oh, absolutely,” Noem said on Newsmax in September when asked whether she would consider a slot on the ticket with Trump. “I would in a heartbeat.”
As governor of a deep red state, she has enacted significant abortion restrictions and banned transgender women from participating on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
She passes the loyalty test, which is key for Trump: She’s already endorsed him in the 2024 race. The 52-year-old’s gender and relative youth would also bring balance to the ticket alongside 77-year-old Trump.