Trump’s decisive South Carolina victory helped solidify him as the 2016 GOP presidential frontrunner. Trump seems unstoppable, having racked up supporters from nearly every GOP demographic: moderates and conservatives, military and non-military, men and women.
It seems evident that Trump will be the nominee, so who will he select as VP? Several quickly volunteered for the job, including Charlie Sheen, Gary Busey, Jesse Ventura, Ted Nugent, and Kanye West, but here are some more realistic prospects to ponder.
Ben Carson: The retired neurosurgeon and GOP candidate recently stated that while he still wants to be president to significantly change the country, he is open to being Trump’s VP–with two big conditions. First, he would need “significant philosophical alignment” with Trump. Second, Carson would need a guarantee that he could “do some substantial things.” Carson is respected by all, and could help Trump with the African-American vote, but he is not an executive, and frankly might just be too nice for Trump.
Ted Cruz: While Cruz prides himself on being a party agitator, many in the GOP party elite view him as the last vestige of hope as a traditional GOP candidate, compared with the establishment-smashing Trump.
Cruz has long been touted as a VP that could help Trump with the evangelical vote, but after South Carolina, Trump may not need Cruz. A large majority of evangelicals and born-again Christians decisively chose Trump (33 percent) over Cruz (27 percent). It was a huge setback for Cruz, who spent lots of money and seemed a shoe-in with endorsements from hundreds of the state’s pastors.
Many voters salivate at the thought of a Trump/Cruz dream ticket. After all, it is the year of the angry voter base, betrayed by their party and by government in general. But Trump and Cruz have been downright nasty, deeming each other equally unfit for the Oval Office. Is this showmanship, or can they bury the hatchet and run a united ticket?
Marco Rubio: Rubio is gaining momentum after his strong second place showing in South Carolina. With his tremendous foreign policy credentials and appeal to Latino voters, Rubio would make an excellent VP candidate.
Despite what he says, The Donald does need help with Latinos, angered by Trump’s comments on amnesty and “The Wall”. Rubio and Trump are fantastic speakers and debaters, and his looks and youth (Rubio’s, not Trump’s) appeal to women and millennials.
He has a strong showing in polls against Hillary Clinton. This ticket’s biggest challenge? Rubio and Trump need to have a united opinion on amnesty that Americans take seriously.
John Kasich—while Kasich does bring a multitude of experience to the ticket, Trump already has the white male vote locked in, so Kasich doesn’t add much help. But he likely would deliver Ohio, so that might help.
Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor is still the darling of grass-roots conservatives. Her January endorsement of Trump was full of fanfare, with Trump touting her as a “special person” and someone with the “kind of strength you just don’t see anymore.” But Palin would likely not fill the VP role, after the 2008 contentious experience on McCain’s ticket. She would more likely fill a Cabinet position.
Ann Coulter: We had to throw this one in just for fun. Conservative author Coulter has joked about being on Trump’s cabinet, but as VP, can you imagine an angrier ticket? One thing is for sure…she and Trump together would certainly solve the immigration problem.
Oprah Winfrey: this past summer, when Trump announced his run for president, he stated that Oprah would make a great running mate, and went on to say that they’d win easily on the ticket together. Trump certainly does love Oprah, having mentioned her as a possible running mate as far back as his 1999 Reform Party bid for POTUS.
It is unlikely that Oprah would be interested. Her 2008 Obama support was the first time she endorsed a political candidate, and while she endorsed Obama again in 2012, was much less active.
Ivanka Trump: What about Trump’s daughter for the VP slot? He has joked about it, but joking aside, Trump would strongly consider a woman candidate. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree–Ivanka learned her savvy business skills from her father.
Don’t let her stunning good looks fool you—she is more than just a pretty face. The 34-year-old is a Wharton grad just like dear old dad, and is the Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for the multi-billion dollar Trump Organization. She is a woman to be reckoned with, and we’re pretty sure she would fare very well in the cutthroat political world.