Who Donald Trump Might Pick for the Vice Presidency

July 6th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Donald Trump might announce his running mate as early as next week. However, in typical Trump fashion, his plan of attack remains unpredictable up until the last minute.

As it stands, there are at least five serious contenders to become Trump's VP, based on media reports.

1. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich is reportedly being vetted as a finalist on Trump's VP shortlist. Though the former Speaker of the House has been publicly critical of some of Trump's proposals — including his remarks about the Mexican heritage of the federal judge overseeing the candidate's Trump University case — he has also been a trusted advisor to the Trump campaign who established close relationships with members of the candidate's inner circle, NBC News reports.

2. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie

After dropping out of the presidential race in February, Christie was among the first high-profile Republicans to endorse Trump. He is reportedly a finalist for the VP slot. His strengths include governing experience and a proven ability to provoke opponents, but his weaknesses — being widely unpopular and scandal prone — could ultimately sway Trump's final decision, Vox's Andrew Prokop argues.

3. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Mike Pence

Trump met with Pence and his family over the Fourth of July weekend, and both CNN and NBC News report that the governor is a late addition to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's VP shortlist. On Twitter, Trump said he was "impressed" after the meeting, driving speculation about the governor's vice presidential prospects. Apparently there's a lot of enthusiasm about Pence within the Trump campaign, sources tell NBC News.

4. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst

Trump also met (and tweeted about) Ernst over the weekend. A "rising star" in conservative circles, Ernst could help Trump in two crucial areas. First, the Los Angeles Times Kurtis Lee argues that Ernst "might be able to help Trump improve his dismal poll numbers with women voters." Second, she's one of the only prospective VP picks that comes from a swing state, which could represent a demonstrable advantage for Trump.

5. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

Sessions was the first member of the U.S. Senate to endorse Trump, enabling him to win decisively in the Alabama GOP primary. Sessions has also given Trump access to one of his top aides, Stephen Miller, who worked with the Trump campaign to develop the candidate's hard-line immigration proposals, The Hill reports.

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