By Debbie Lord
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
With Donald Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses, speculation is at a fever pitch as to whether the New York businessman will win the Republican nomination for president.
And while the ink isn’t dry on the caucus forms out of Nevada, questions about who could be his running mate are already being asked.
Trump and his staff have dropped a couple of broad hints as to the type of person he would consider good vice presidential material.
“I would think that because of the fact that while I’m very political – I’m not a politician – I would want to choose a politician,” the candidate told FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
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Trump’s national campaign co-chair told the Boston Herald the candidate is looking for a “diamond in the rough” as a potential running mate.
It’s likely to be several months before we find out since the name of the running mate is usually not announced until close to the time of the party’s nominating convention held in the summer prior to the November vote.
Here are a few names being bandied about in Trump’s case:
Rick Scott: A name seen on several potential lists of Trump running mates is Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Scott, who has said he will not endorse a candidate prior to the Florida primary on March 15. Scott was a businessman before he was a politician, making millions (and getting into some trouble) as a health-care executive.
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Nikki Haley: Would Trump pick a woman? Would he pick one that didn’t pick him? South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed Marco Rubio days before the South Carolina primary. Haley and Trump did both speak nicely of each other after the state’s primary. Of course, Trump won it.
Carly Fiorina: Again, are we expecting too much from Trump when it comes to forgiving and forgetting? Maybe. And while we are on the subject, there’s no love lost on Fiorina’s side, either.
Joe Scarborough: Scarborough is a former congressman from Florida’s panhandle. He’s friendly with Trump, by all accounts. While he didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no about being on the ticket with Trump when radio host Hugh Hewitt asked him recently if he would consider a position as a running mate.
Carl Icahn: Icahn is a businessman like Trump, the only difference being his net worth is about five times as much as Trump’s. Icahn got his money the old-fashioned way – as founder and majority shareholder of Icahn Enterprises – a holding company based in New York City.
Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, has been seen huddling with Trump, offering advice on the campaign, some reports say. While Trump may be looking for a “diamond in the rough” running mate, he could find Giuliani’s leadership skills – particularly during a crisis – appealing.
Jeff Sessions: The Alabama senator is often mentioned by Trump in campaign speeches. Sessions is one of the most conservatives members of the Senate. He is from Mobile, Ala., the city that hosted one of the largest of Trump’s campaign rallies.
Sarah Palin: The former Alaskan governor and running mate to Sen. John McCain in 2008, endorsed Trump in January. Would she upstage Trump if she were vice president? He seemed to think she might during her endorsement announcement.
What about his competitors?
It’s hard to imagine that Trump would ask Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush to be a running mate – almost as hard to imagine they would take his call. But John Kasich may be a different story.
Kasich has, for the most part, steered clear of attacking Trump. Add to that the fact that he is the governor of Ohio – the Ohio that has 18 electoral votes – and Kasich looks a lot more viable as vice president.
The same could be said for Marco Rubio. The Florida senator has had some pointed comments about Trump, but Trump seems to have been ok with the tone. In fact, on Tuesday he offered some praise for Rubio. If Rubio could carry his state, that would secure 29 electoral votes.
A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
After Nevada, Trump has 79 delegates to the Republican convention. You need 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination.