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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Students’ guide to the former President’s VP dilemma: As speculation intensifies, what lies ahead?

Among+Trumps+confirmed+shortlist+include+a+great+number+of+candidates+such+as+Vivek+Ramaswamy%2C+Greg+Abott%2C+Bryson+Donalds%2C+Kristi+Noem%2C+Tim+Scott%2C+and+Tulsi+Gabbard.
Yatin Bayya
Among Trump’s confirmed shortlist include a great number of candidates such as Vivek Ramaswamy, Greg Abott, Bryson Donalds, Kristi Noem, Tim Scott, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Passing the threshold of 1215 delegates required to be the Republican nominee, Former President Donald Trump dominated the primary elections. winning the great majority of states

Many candidates dropped out before endorsing the Trump campaign, and with a new wave of MAGA supporters, speculation has arisen as to who he might pick for VP. While he has not confirmed any single person, Trump has announced an ever-growing shortlist of potential candidates.

“Trump is literally the entire face of the Republican party and pretty much dwarfs everyone else. I think his influence allows him to wait on a VP. I’m not exactly sure why he’s withholding but maybe he needs time to pick the right one that would fit his campaign strategy,” said Abhinav Garg (‘25).

The primary election

After dropping out, major candidates such as Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis have given their endorsement to the MAGA campaign and encouraged other Republicans to support the movement.

“He probably wants to wait until he has secured the nomination before he announces his VP. If he doesn’t announce his VP now, people who want to be his VP will spend more time trying to support him and gain his favor,” said Daniel Nie (‘26).

Candidates such as Vivek Ramaswamy have been continuously supporting and defending Trump even though they were competitors in the primary election. 

“All the policies [of the shortlisted candidates] are essentially the same and they all support the same main ideas. The only thing they differ in is public perception. I think Trump needs someone to balance his appearance to people. He says what he thinks so he needs someone who can have better public relations,” said Nie.

In the 2016 election, Pence had balanced the ballot as a religious Christian to appeal to that demographic of conservative voters. However, his relationship with Trump has deteriorated substantially after he refused to not certify the votes.

“I don’t think he has decided internally and he is weighing his options right now. Mike Pence supported all of his policies and the only thing they broke with is the 2020 election so I think Trump will try to choose someone who supports his view that the election was rigged,” said Nie.

The candidates

Senator Tim Scott has appeared with Trump in many public rallies after winning the elections such as in the South Carolina rally.

“I think Tim Scott, given that Trump has singled him out specifically as his most likely candidate. Also the fact that he’s pretty popular in the Republican party and a strong ally of Trump [is most likely to be his choice],” said Garg.

Trump had invited numerous candidates such as Ramaswamy and Kristi Noem to talk at his estate at Mar-A-Lago. He had also visited the southern border with Greg Abbott. He has confirmed all of these candidates to be on the shortlist.

“If Trump reaches a point where he doesn’t really need to balance the ballot because his core base support is already strong enough, then I don’t think he would go that route. Maybe that’s another reason why he’s holding off to see how the conditions change,” said Garg.

Former Democratic representative Tulsi Gabbard, known for her progressive foreign policy, is one of the recent additions to join the shortlist. The Republican party has an increasingly diverse set of options this election season, ranging from Hindu to Black to female candidates.

“I think he’s faced with a dilemma of options. I don’t see any reason for him to keep the speculation at this point so I think he’s genuinely figuring out who would be the best VP candidate to increase his chances,” said Garg.

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