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Donald Trump VP Watch

Here’s the latest news in the race to be Donald Trump’s Vice President.

So Marco Rubio is still a firm no.

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wants the spot.

It’s probably not Chris Christie, as Trump announced Christie will lead his transition team if elected.

Newt Gingrich wouldn’t say no.

KY Sen. Rand Paul’s name has come up a few times. Though nothing official has surfaced from the Senator or presumptive nominee Trump.

Trump is open to Ted Cruz as VP.

An article from MSNBC.com compiled the following reactions from Trump and potential candidates about the Vice President spot. You can read it here.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is “unlikely” the Trump team says.

SC. Gov. Nikki Haley is also not under consideration.

Susana Martinez, the NM Gov., is not interested.

Gov. Scott of FL likes his current job and wouldn’t accept if offered.

Sen Joni Ernst of Iowa said she would accept the job.

Former TX Gov. Perry said he won’t say no

Ben Carson said no.

Sarah Palin, former AK Gov and VP nominee in 2008, said she doesn’t want to be a burden to his campaign by being VP.

WI Gov. Walker’s team gave a soft no.

And Trump spoke very highly of OK Gov. Mary Fallin recently.

 

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What Should Trump Do for Vice President?

Cruz’s early VP pick potentially backed Trump into a corner. If Trump doesn’t win the nomination outright before the convention, he might have a harder time getting some of the more popular VP picks to sign on with his ticket heading to Cleveland. However, Trump’s path to victory before the convention, while still not a given, is looking more plausible as the days go by. If that is the case, Trump will probably have his pick of the litter.

What type of person is Trump looking for?

Donald Trump would go a long way by picking the right VP candidate. Trump would be smart to choose a running mate who builds a bridge to the party and the base, both who are reluctantly coming to grips with him right now. Trump should pick someone with proven political experience, preferably at the state level.

Basically Trump needs to convince me and those like me (who are not planning on voting for him right now) that he will surround himself with solid and proven conservatives who will help him make tough decisions.

The Rankings

Contenders

  • Susana Martinez– I know she isn’t the most conservative candidate on this list, but she would cover a lot of holes for Trump. She would go a long way to help Trump with women and Hispanics, two groups Trump needs to improve with. She is loved by the party and the base and it doesn’t hurt she’s from a swing state.
  • Nikki Haley– Haley would be a home run pick. She’s popular with the party and conservatives. She’s been great as governor of South Carolina. Once again, she’s no Cruz or Rand Paul on the conservative scale, but she’s conservative enough and would help Trump with women.
  • Scott Walker– He’s a proven conservative and effective leader. Walker is a solid pick. With his organization and Trump’s blue collar popularity, the Midwest would be in play for the GOP.
  • Newt Gingrich– The former Speaker of the House turned 2012 Tea Party candidate has towed the line better than anyone between the GOP factions. His best attribute is that he has a history of getting conservative things done in Congress. There have been plenty of indications that this has a strong possibility of happening.
  • Rubio/Kasich– These are unite the party guys. They aren’t huge conservatives but they each have likable qualities that inspire confidence. Having Florida or Ohio in the GOP fold is also desirable.
  • Ted Cruz– Cruz would bring over the hardcore conservatives who struggles with Donald. He’s not a party favorite, but he made a name and reputation for himself that’s hard to ignore.

Maybe

  • Kelly Ayotte
  • Jeff Sessions
  • Tim Scott
  • Rick Perry
  • Bill Haslam
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Mike Pence
  • Condi Rice

Nope

  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Sarah Palin
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Rick Scott
  • Jan Brewer
  • Scott Brown
  • Brian Sandoval
  • Chris Christie
  • Ben Carson
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Jeb Bush

Ted Cruz VP Rankings- April 27

With Cruz’s “major” announcement coming today, speculation is running wild that the Texas Senator might actually be naming a VP.

Cruz needs a hail Mary right now and this is about as close to that as it gets.

Ted Cruz will be looking for someone who will do 2 things for him. First, he wants someone who is going to create excitement. Cruz needs to change the narrative of this race. He wants to pick someone that will fill the news cycle with nothing but good VP coverage and give people in the remaining states someone to get excited over.

Second, he wants someone everyone in the party will want to rally around. The GOP is starting to come to grips with Trump because he seems inevitable, but they don’t like it. If he can pick someone who inspires hope within the party, it could go a long way in keeping hope alive.

Here’s our latest list:

At the Top:

  • Nikki Haley- This week I moved the South Carolina Governor to the top of the list. She would generate a lot of excitement and coverage. She’s also the most proven which would play very well with party establishment.
  • Scott Walker– If Gov. Walker wasn’t on the radar before, he is now. He delivered a huge win for Cruz in Wisconsin. Walker’s organization is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a proven conservative and effective leader. He wouldn’t generate as much excitement as a new face would, but he’s a solid and safe pick.
  • Carly Fiorina– She and Ted have been very chummy since her endorsement. Carly could fill the other side of the ticket with an outsider, a theme Cruz is desperately trying to make. She’s also been a relentless attack dog focused on Clinton. She’s starting to become old news, but still a good pick.
  • Susana Martinez– She’s a lower profile Nikki Haley. She’s got broad support from the party and she’s a popular Hispanic swing-state governor. She does take a Jeb-like approach to common core though; if you can get over that, she’s solid.
  • Marco Rubio– Rubio adds a lot as the VP. He has backers on both sides of the party and he’s still popular with the voters of Florida. Rubio is out of a job soon, despite his comments, he’d be more than happy to serve as Cruz’s VP.

In Consideration:

  • Tim Scott- The South Carolina Senator is a strong conservative. He would generate excitement and seems to have the acceptance of the party.
  • Brian Sandoval– Sandoval is the male version of Susana Martinez. He’s widely respected on both sides of the aisle. He does have a moderate streak in him. Hardcore conservatives might not be excited about this pick, but you better believe the establishment and maybe even some Democrats will.
  • John Kasich– Kasich’s delegates will be in high demand at the convention and Cruz would love to get his hands on them. Kasich is the popular Governor of Ohio. I’ll stop there.

Dark Horses:

  • Condi Rice
  • John Thune
  • Mia Love
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Bill Haslam

Confirmed: Cruz Vetting Fiorina for Vice President

Ted Cruz’s campaign confirmed this week that they are indeed running former candidate Carly Fiorina for the VP spot. We covered this last month: Is Carly Fiorina Going to be Cruz’s VP? Click on the link to read the story.

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of this move.

Pros

  • Carly is an outsider. Cruz has been trying to capture that persona in this campaign. She would fit that mold and help him avoid the stench of being associated with Washington or the establishment.
  • The VP is supposed to be the attack dog so the presidential candidates don’t have to appear harsh. Carly focused her campaign on drawing a clear contrast between Hillary Clinton and herself. She never held back punches.
  • Carly would help combat the historical advantage that Clinton has with the possibility of being the first woman elected to the White House.
  • She is an absolute fighter. She took on breast cancer and Donald Trump head on. Cruz doesn’t have to worry if she is up for the challenge.

Cons

  • The VP usually helps to pad or fill holes on the resume of the presidential candidate. Other than her business experience, there isn’t much political experience to help Cruz out.
  • Carly doesn’t bring anything electorally to the table. California is her home state, Cruz has a 0% chance to win the state with or without her.
  • Her time as CEO of HP, her claim to fame, is going to be called into question constantly by the media. It’s not going to go away like it would if she were a Democrat.
  • The excitement factor has waned somewhat since she endorsed Cruz a while ago. Usually the campaign likes to get a few days of nonstop coverage on the speculation of who the VP is going to be. McCain’s campaign nailed this aspect when they chose Palin. The media had no clue what was going on until about an hour before the announcement and covered the speculation continually.

 

Could Donald Trump’s Vice President Pick Win You Over?

For those of you who are like me and are wildly skeptic of The Donald, I want to propose a question.

Is it possible you could end up voting for Donald Trump in November if he picked the right Vice President?

I’ve thought about this question for a long time. If Donald Trump picked one of my top politicians could I support him? I think my answer is: it’s possible, but I’m just not sure.

First, here’s why I decided to not vote for Trump.

The #NeverTrump crowd doesn’t like him because he’s unpredictable and an unreliable conservative, we don’t know who he really is. An effective VP that will sway the doubters will need to be the exact opposite. The person will need to inspire confidence in the future of the Republican Party. They need to have conservative credentials with the ability to get things done. They will need to bring a sense of certainty and stability to the ticket.

Let’s take a look at the people who could possibly sway the #NeverTrump crowd to change their minds:

  1. Ted Cruz- This would sway conservatives, but it wouldn’t do much for the Lindsey Grahams and John McCains of the Republican Party. I do think it would unite the party better than most options. I would be more likely, but not guaranteed, to vote for Trump in this scenario.
  2. Nikki Haley-In my opinion, this is Trump’s best option (IF he can convince her). She’s solid and would be someone the party could get excited for. I could be convinced more by her than Rubio/Kasich.
  3. Scott Walker- I’ve been a huge fan of the Wisconsin Governor for quite a while. He made conservatism work in Wisconsin! It would be very hard for me to ignore a ticket that Walker was a part of.
  4. Newt Gingrich- He’s no doubt a conservative and a political mastermind. I voted for him in 2012 as did many looking for a conservative in that race. Could he convince me? Maybe.
  5. Tim Scott- The South Carolina is an unwavering conservative. He’s largely unknown which may make the party type a little uncomfortable. But just like Walker, I would think twice before saying no to this guy.
  6. Marco Rubio/John Kasich- Almost all Republicans would be on board with these guys. The Romney Effect may come back into play where the most conservative part of the party will stay home. Would it sway me? Possibly, but maybe not.
  7. Susana Martinez- Martinez is not the conservative that Cruz or Walker is, but she would bring a lot to a Trump ticket. She would generate excitement. It could be a hard sell for some people who were really willing to look deep, but on the surface, it would be a solid pick to almost everyone. This would probably be a game-day decision for me. I like her, but would her policies win me over, that’s the question I would have to answer.
  8. Other- Mitch Daniels, Bill Haslam, Mia Love, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, etc. Take your pick. These are people who would cover some of Trump’s holes. Would they convince everyone? Nope, but it would make me reevaluate the situation.

Let’s take a look at some of the people Donald Trump should not pick. These are people who would never convince me and probably most of the #NeverTrump crowd to change our minds.

  • Rudy Giuliani- A New York Moderate/New York Moderate ticket makes me cringe. It would be fun to watch Democrats sweat over New York and the rest of the Northeast.
  • Chris Christie- People like Lindsey Graham and John McCain would support this pick. But not I said the conservative.
  • Ben Carson- Does anyone know who Ben Carson is anymore. It would not sway me at all if he were the VP pick. He’s more slippery now than Trump is.
  • Other- Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Scott, Joe Arpaio, Jeff Sessions – Yawn
  • Other- Condi Rice, Brian Sandoval, Kelly Ayotte – Not conservative enough

Am I missing someone on either list? Let me know what you think.

Weekly Election Update- April 18

There are 2 battles going on in the GOP nomination. Everybody is paying attention to the headlines and polls from the states’ primaries in an effort to get 1,237 delegates. But the other battle is much more interesting: the battle for who those delegates actually are. Trump is winning the first battle, but Cruz is dominating the second.

After Cruz picked up all 12 delegates from this weekend’s only competition (Wyoming’s convention), here’s the latest delegate count:

Trump 744, Cruz 559, Kasich 144

But this weekend, other states had conventions to choose who these delegates actually are. And like last weekend, Cruz’s organization beat Trump’s yelling. Trump will still get the delegates he won on the first ballot, but after that one expect a huge shift in delegates to Cruz.

In fact, Michael Harrington, a writer and statistician from Redstate.com, lays out perfectly what is actually going on in this largely unseen but vastly important battle. He said if Trump fails to win the 1,237 delegates outright before the convention, Cruz has a 99% chance of winning the nomination. Check out the article here:

The Actual Delegate Count, A Full Breakdown

 

Ted Cruz’s VP Rankings 2.0

Senator Ted Cruz is picking up steam in the fight to be the GOP nominee. Cruz still trails Trump by more than 200 delegates, but the race is now all about keeping Trump from getting the needed delegates.

If Trump doesn’t get the magic number of delegates before the convention, it will be extremely difficult for him to get the nomination. If this is the case, Ted Cruz will most likely be the only candidate capable of rallying enough support to win the nomination.

Last week I wrote an article about how Cruz needed to name a solid VP now to secure the party’s blessing. I still think he will need to do it before the convention starts. Choosing a VP is a rallying point for the candidate and the party.

Ted Cruz will be looking for someone who will do 2 things for him. First, he wants someone who is going to cause excitement. He wants to pick someone that will fill the news cycle with nothing but good VP coverage. Second, he wants someone everyone in the party will want to rally around. There were plenty of people who weren’t thrilled with John McCain or Mitt Romney, but choosing up and coming GOP stars as running mates gave people something to get excited about.

Here’s our latest list:

At the Top:

  • Nikki Haley- This week I moved the South Carolina Governor to the top of the list. She would generate a lot of excitement and coverage. She’s also the most proven which would play very well with party establishment.
  • Susana Martinez– She’s a lower profile Nikki Haley. She’s got broad support from the party and she’s a popular Hispanic swing-state governor. She does take a Jeb-like approach to common core though; if you can get over that, she’s solid.
  • Brian Sandoval– Sandoval is the male version of Susana Martinez. He’s widely respected on both sides of the aisle. He does have a moderate streak in him. Hardcore conservatives might not be excited about this pick, but you better believe the establishment and maybe even some Democrats will.
  • Marco Rubio– Rubio adds a lot as the VP. He has backers on both sides of the party and he’s still popular with the voters of Florida. Rubio is out of a job soon, despite his comments, he’d be more than happy to serve as Cruz’s VP.
  • Tim Scott– The South Carolina Senator is a strong conservative. He would generate excitement and seems to have the acceptance of the party.

In Consideration:

  • Scott Walker– If Gov. Walker wasn’t on the radar before, he is now. He delivered a huge win for Cruz in Wisconsin. Walker’s organization is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a proven conservative and effective leader. He wouldn’t generate as much excitement as a new face would, but he’s a solid and safe pick.
  • Carly Fiorina– She and Ted have been very chummy since her endorsement. Carly could fill the other side of the ticket with an outsider, a theme Cruz is desperately trying to make. She’s also been a relentless attack dog focused on Clinton. She’s starting to become old news, but still a good pick
  • John Kasich– Kasich’s delegates will be in high demand at the convention and Cruz would love to get his hands on them. Kasich is the popular Governor of Ohio. I’ll stop there.

Dark Horses:

  • Condi Rice
  • John Thune
  • Mia Love
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Bill Haslam