Trump Announces Selection of Vice Presidential Running Mate

The unnamed running mate will appear at next week’s presidential debate

Former US President Donald Trump has selected his running mate for the vice presidency, he told NBC News on Saturday. Trump indicated that he hasn’t yet informed the chosen individual, but they will be present at his debate with President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Speaking to NBC during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Trump stated that he has made his decision “in my mind,” and that “nobody knows” his choice yet. “They’ll be there” at the debate in Atlanta, he continued, adding that “We have a lot of people coming” to the CNN-hosted showdown.

The former president mentioned that he would announce his selection “right around the convention,” referencing the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on July 15. “Maybe a little before, but could be at the convention,” Trump said. “But we’ll have some great people.”

Over the past few months, Trump has confirmed that at least ten individuals were being considered for the vice presidential position. Reports suggest this shortlist has been narrowed down to a few contenders, with US media outlets naming North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and author and Ohio Senator JD Vance as the top three.

Vance, a vocal critic of military aid to Ukraine and a supporter of Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda, enjoys popularity among Trump’s voter base. When asked who they would choose as Trump’s running mate, 43% of conservative activists at last weekend’s Turning Point Action convention in Detroit selected Vance, with the Ohioan receiving three times more votes than his closest competitor, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Rubio and Burgum came in third and fourth with 7.7% and 7% respectively.

While Thursday’s debate will not take place in front of a studio audience, Burgum, Rubio, Scott, and Vance are all expected to attend a watch party organized by Trump’s campaign, Bloomberg reported.

With just over four months to go until election day, Trump currently enjoys a narrow lead over Biden in a polling average compiled by . However, two polls released on Thursday showed Trump leading Biden in seven swing states, with an Ipsos finding the former president five points ahead of the incumbent across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada. All of these states except North Carolina were won by Biden in 2020.