Donald Trump’s victories over the past two weeks have made it clear that he’s the clear favorite for the Republican presidential nomination.
Who will he pick as his running mate? “I just don’t want to think about it right now,” he said Tuesday. But everyone else is. Top prospects:
5. Marco Rubio: Yes, there was that whole “Little Marco” thing. But if Ben Carson can make peace with Trump, then anything can happen. Rubio is clearly in search of a next step in his political career, and it’s hard to imagine him turning it down. Rubio could help Trump with outreach to establishment Republicans. As a Cuban-American, he also might be able to blunt some of Trump’s sharpest edges on immigration.
4. John Kasich: These two have been on (relatively) friendly terms throughout the race. Kasich would represent an olive branch from Trump to the establishment and might carry the sort of resume that would appeal to Trump. And no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio.
3. Joni Ernst: The Iowa Republican senator emerged as a breakout star of the 2014 midterm election with her plain-spoken populism. If Trump wanted to make a turning-over-a-new-leaf pick, Ernst would make sense. She is a gifted communicator and someone who might help Trump sell to the Midwestern voter he needs to compete with Hillary Clinton.
2. Rick Scott: The Florida governor wrote a Facebook post Wednesday urging the party to rally behind Trump. Scott has been consistently supportive of Trump for months. Scott’s profile is also likely appealing to Trump — a wealthy businessman who ran and beat the Republican establishment to get elected governor. Plus, he’s from a big swing state.
1. Chris Christie: “I think Chris Christie is fantastic,” Trump said last Tuesday as the New Jersey governor stood just behind him on stage. No one has risked more with his support for Trump than Christie, who has been roundly mocked and dismissed by the GOP establishment for the decision. Personality-wise, Christie and Trump seem to be an obvious match. And, Trump has said that he would want a politician as his running mate.