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Just How Important is Trump’s VP Pick?

A new Rasmussen Poll has some surprising results.

It is the morning after, so to speak, when politicos, their sycophants, and party apparatchiks are sporting a football-sized hangover. The first big presidential debate is now in the rearview mirror, and the spin doctors are hard at work. They know no matter how exciting, the shelf life of this debate will eventually reach its expiration date. And when they turn their attention to the next mammoth-sized moment in the election, it’s likely to include this question: Who will be Trump’s VP pick?

Political junkies have been placing their bets for a while now, guessing, divining, and trying to read even the tiniest of tea leaves that might float by. But discerning the mind of Donald J. Trump is a daunting task to say the least. Will he follow the same trajectory he did last time and choose a Mike Pence-style yin to his yang? Will he look for someone entirely different – perhaps more of an alpha male who could take over as commander-in-chief in a heartbeat? Or will he channel a shrewd political move a la JFK and choose a Lyndon Johnson to help him carry a state that he might not otherwise land that will usher him to victory?

Trump’s VP Pick: Survey Says …

As usual, Rasmussen Reports is a step ahead of the game and has published a poll asking voters how important they believe Mr. Trump’s VP choice is in the grand scheme of things. Lo and behold, 80% say it doesn’t much matter.

Then came the fun part of the survey, where the 1,117 likely voters were asked: “If Donald Trump is the Republican presidential candidate, which of the following would be his best choice as a vice-presidential running mate?” The winner at 18% was either “some other candidate” or “not sure.” However, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the odds-on favorite at 15% among those listed. He was followed by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Dr. Ben Carson – both coming in at 11%. Vivek Ramaswamy and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum followed with 7%. Bringing up the rear were Ohio Senator J.D. Vance and Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders with 5% and Florida Congressman Byron Donalds with 3%.

Trump’s VP list has been evolving over the last couple of months. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were not among the Rasmussen choices. Several news outlets have named Rubio, Scott, and Burgum as the final three but don’t provide their reasoning for those preferences. Are they based on some inside information or just educated guesses? No one really knows.

Looks Like It’s Curtains for the Ladies

Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not make it to the final three. All save Sanders made the shortlist back in February.

Despite Mr. Trump’s claim that he’s made up his mind, political strategists are still ruminating about his criteria: Will he choose someone who is loyal above all else? Is his decision based on general compatibility – or is the critical factor grounded in who can bring him the most electoral votes? But if the Rasmussen poll is correct, it won’t really matter what the criteria are or whom the former president chooses because 80% of those who plan to vote for Donald Trump will do so no matter what.

Read More From Leesa K. Donner

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