CPAC Straw Poll: Noem and Ramaswamy Emerge as Top Picks for Trump’s VP

Featured & Cover CPAC Straw Poll Noem and Ramaswamy Emerge as Top Picks for Trump's VP (Bloomberg)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy emerged as the top contenders among Republican grassroots activists for former President Trump’s potential vice presidential pick, according to attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). They both garnered 15 percent of the preferences when CPAC attendees were asked about Trump’s potential running mate for the 2024 election. This puts both Noem and Ramaswamy in the spotlight as potential choices for Trump’s vice president. Trump himself confirmed earlier in the week that all individuals rumored to be on his shortlist are considered “solid.”

In the CPAC straw poll conducted on Saturday, former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard secured the second position with 9 percent, followed closely by House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, both at 8 percent. Representative Byron Donalds from Florida received 7 percent, while Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake obtained 6 percent. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders each garnered 5 percent of the vote. Notably, conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, independent presidential candidate Robert K. Kennedy Jr., Senator JD Vance from Ohio, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley each received less than 5 percent of the vote.

Although the CPAC straw poll’s influence on Trump’s decision for his running mate may be minimal, the results are likely to generate increased attention around the top candidates. Noem, Stefanik, and Vance are among the prominent Republican figures present at CPAC and have been mentioned as potential running mates for the former president.

Senator Tim Scott’s presence in South Carolina is particularly noteworthy as the state prepares for its GOP primary, where Trump is expected to outperform Haley, a former governor of the state. According to polling data from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Trump holds a commanding lead of 30 points over Haley in her home state.

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