Donald Trump Picking Family As 2024 Running Mate Would Risk Losing GOP Voters

Former President Donald Trump is being touted as a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, raising the question of potential running mates.

Trump has alluded to the possibility of another presidential bid and polling has indicated he could be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination if he opted to do so.

His advisor Jason Miller last week branded a Bloomberg report over Trump weighing up another run with an alternative partner to former Vice President Mike Pence "fake news," and said there had been "no such conversations."

If Trump were to run and pick someone other than Pence, his eldest children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump having both been discussed as potential candidates for office themselves.

However, opting for someone from within his family could see Trump miss the opportunity to pick a partner who would broaden the ticket's appeal.

"Obviously, a father running with one of his children would be unprecedented in American history," David McLennan, a professor of political science at Meredith College, told Newsweek.

On this prospect, he suggested that while such a pairing could be popular with those who back the former president and his "MAGA" platform it would not necessarily boost his electoral prospects.

"I am not sure that any of his children improves the ticket for Donald Trump. His children—Don, Jr., in particular—seem to be MAGA favorites with no real appeal beyond that particular segment of the Republican electorate. If Trump has never exceeded 47 percent of the national popular vote, it is hard to see that any one of his children helping him get beyond that ceiling," McLennan said.

"Although Donald Trump will always be the main feature of any ticket, having someone with some appeal outside the Trump MAGA base would potentially make the ticket more competitive."

However, he suggested Trump's "demand for loyalty" could stop a person "representing the more establishment wing of the Republican Party" being chosen, or potentially even being willing to run.

Julie Norman, a lecturer in politics and international relations at University College London, similarly told Newsweek that while a Trump-Trump ticket might muster support from his bases, opting for someone who "challenges the conception of the typical Trump supporter" could be a shrewder choice.

"A Trump-Trump ticket would certainly appeal to much of the base. But we also know that Trump is quite polarizing. So while a Trump-Trump ticket could nab the nomination, it would be a tougher sell for winning the national election, in which the GOP still needs to win back some moderates and independent voters who are turned off by the Trump brand," Norman said.

"A more strategic pick would likely be someone from outside the family who is loyal to Trump, but who challenges the conception of the typical Trump supporter."

Trump's desire for loyalty though could sway him to pick a family member, Jon Herbert, a senior lecturer in the school of social, political and global studies at Keele University and a co-author of The Ordinary Presidency of Donald J. Trump, told Newsweek.

"Given the president felt betrayed by Pence, that might enhance his well-established tendency to trust family only: he might see VP as a more important and powerful position if he genuinely regards Pence's perfidy as an opportunity missed to keep him in office," Herbert said.

However, he said Trump appeared to see Pence as beneficial in being someone who could represent the "Christian right's agenda."

"It was notable how often he articulated that Pence's presence represented Christian values, even after he was elected. By Trump's standards, I thought that was unusually strategic behavior," Herbert said, referencing the anger from Trump aimed at Pence over the certification of the Electoral College votes.

While referencing this aid Pence gave Trump, Herbert said the former president might feel he has that voter group's loyalty and could pick someone to help him pick up support from elsewhere.

"Would the same apply in 2024? He might feel he now has the conservative vote's loyalty, so he's freer to choose another group to try draw in," Herbert said.

At CPAC, Trump was the frontrunner in a straw poll of who attendees would back in a GOP presidential primary.

While some polling has shown a decline in his support, Trump still holds sway among many Republican voters and has come out on top in several surveys looking forward to 2024 should he run.

On a potential further shot at the White House, Trump told Newsmax in an interview last month: "I won't say yet but we have tremendous support.

"I'm looking at poll numbers that are through the roof."

While Trump has come back into the spotlight since leaving the White House, having addressed CPAC last month, Pence has kept a lower profile since leaving office. The Associated Press reports that Pence is to give a speech in South Carolina next month, according to an anonymous source.

Trump also hinted at 2024 in his CPAC speech.

Towards the end of Trump's time as president, he and Pence clashed, with the then-commander-in-chief pushing his VP to reject the Electoral College votes that confirmed his defeat in last year's presidential election. Pence refused to do so.

Trump hit out at his vice president in tweets posted shortly after he was told Pence was being led out of the Senate chamber by security, as violence erupted at the U.S Capitol on January 6.

The pair were said to have a "good conversation" when they met days later, and both condemned the actions of those involved in storming the Capitol. Pence also thanked Trump for the opportunity of serving as vice president in a farewell speech on January 20.

There were suggestions of a rift between the pair ahead of CPAC, which Pence did not speak at, though it was denied.

Some polling on other candidates has put Pence as a second favorite, though the CPAC straw poll put the second pick behind Trump as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Prior surveys put Pence as above Trump Jr. and Ivanka in the running for 2024, if Trump himself were not to run.

While Trump's children have been touted as running for office, Lara Trump—wife of Trump's son Eric Trump—has also been spoken about as a potential political candidate down the line, with her reportedly considering a Senate run.

Newsweek has contacted the Office of the Former President for comment on 2024 and the prospect of potential running mates.

donald and ivanka trump walk to marineone
Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The prospect of a future presidential run and of other Trumps going for office has been discussed since Trump's presidency ended. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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