A little more than an hour-and-a-half ago, Donald Trump announced he will unveil his running mate on Friday morning, at 11:00, in Manhattan; just three days before the Republican Convention convenes in Cleveland, OH.
The leading contenders appear to be Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Trump has said he wants a running mate who has Washington experience, so Gingrich, Sessions, and Pence, a former Indiana Congressman, all fit the criteria. Even though he has never served in Washington, Christie does have experience working in government as well.
However, Trump’s former rival, and current campaign adviser Ben Carson did say on CNN Tuesday that the pick could be a surprise. Considering we are talking about Donald Trump, this could absolutely be true and he could pick someone like Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin (please?!). On the other hand, this is also Ben Carson. So it is just as likely to be the false ramblings of a man who took too many sedatives before his interview.
One issue Trump may have, should he go with Newt or Christie, is their unfavorable numbers among the general electorate. According to a YouGov/Economist Poll, only 33% have a favorable view of Christie, compared to 49% who have an unfavorable view; while Gingrich has a favorable/unfavorable split of 32% and 45%. Both men are seen favorably by about 60% of Republicans, but their unfavorables among GOP voters seem rather high. Gingrich is viewed unfavorably by 24% of Republicans, and Christie by 31% of Republicans.
If the poll is correct, it looks like Pence would be the safer pick of the three. His biggest strength? Nobody knows who the hell he is. Nearly three-fifths of all general and Republican voters do not know how they view Pence.
Speculation that it will be Newt Gingrich has grown after he and Fox News agreed to part ways yesterday, effective immediately. But the Washington Times also reported earlier in the week that it was a 95% likelihood to be Mike Pence. In other words, like with VP speculation in every election cycle, nobody has any clue what is going on.
We will find out which B-List politician wants to hitch their star to the Donald Trump wagon in less than 48 hours.