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Washington’s hottest parlor game is …

Former President Donald Trump signals to supporters at a rally on Tuesday June 18, 2024 at the Racine Festival Park in Racine, Wis.

Former President Donald Trump signals to supporters at a rally on Tuesday June 18, 2024 at the Racine Festival Park in Racine, Wis.

Jovanny Hernandez/Reuters

With Donald Trump set to pick his nominee for vice president at the Republican National Convention in July, there’s plenty of speculation about who he’ll choose – and what it’ll mean in the run-up to November’s election.

The Trump campaign says it has narrowed the vetting to eight candidates. This list includes Sens. JD Vance, Tim Scott, Tom Cotton, and former Trump rivalMarco Rubio, as well as North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and Reps. Byron Donalds and Elise Stefanik. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is also in the mix.


Trump may have a chance to woo key demographics with his pick. Scott, for instance, is a Black evangelical Christian, and Stefanik is a woman and a millennial, two groups with whom Democrats typically enjoy an advantage. Or Trump may simply choose his favorite, whatever the impact.

“Some of the contenders whose names have been leaked have their own clear political logic. They diversify the ticket or do more to unite the Republican Party,” says Jon Lieber, Eurasia Group’s head of research and US managing director. “But ultimately, this is a decision by Trump alone of who he thinks will be loyal, play well on TV, and not show him up, and political logic may or may not play a role in that calculation.”

North of the border, Canadians will be watching for Trump’s pick, too. A March poll found a majority of the country prefers Joe Biden over Trump, a fact that is unlikely to change regardless of whom the former Republican president chooses as his running mate.

In the US, there are debates over the effectiveness of VP picks in every presidential election, but this year some experts believe Trump’s choice could matter a lot, particularly since it will shape the future of the American right.

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