Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Could Be 'De Facto Running Mate' to Win Female Voters

President Donald Trump's choice of Supreme Court nominee could be rooted more in his desire to win re-election than long-term goals based upon filling the seat with a conservative justice.

Questions over the impact of Trump's choice, which he is due to announce Saturday, upon laws in the nation have been rife amid the dispute over him choosing the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg's successor.

A conservative pick would firmly slant the court in favor of members with such a mindset, with Democrats arguing against the president being able to push such a choice through so close to the election.

But while his political adversaries have used the ramifications of his potential candidate as an attack line, the incumbent Republican could perhaps look to use his decision to his advantage in campaigning.

One means perhaps being to use them as a figure to reach out to demographics polling has shown him struggling with.

"Personally, I think Trump is going to turn this nominee into his de facto running mate," Richard Johnson, lecturer in U.S. politics and policy at Queen Mary University London, told Newsweek.

"I fully expect him to choose someone who will appeal to white suburban women, who are perhaps the most important swing electorate in this election. Trump's pitch would be: only if you vote for me will Judge X will be on the court—but Trump could probably get the person confirmed in the lame duck, even if he lost."

While Trump will be looking to pick a candidate who will galvanize his base, using them to appeal to more voters could also be a bonus for him, Thomas Gift, a lecturer in political science and founding director of the Centre on U.S. Politics at University College London, told Newsweek.

"First and foremost, Trump's priority is to select the kind of Federalist-Society-approved justice that will go over well with his loyal base—a nominee with a strong conservative resume in the mold of Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch," he said.

"At the same time, if Trump can also nominate a justice with simultaneous appeal to another key voting demographic he desperately wants to court, that's all the better from the president's perspective.

"The fact that Trump has already said he will pick a woman isn't just due to the fact that the justice will replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneering icon for women's rights. It's also because he thinks it might help boost his appeal with moderate female voters."

Johnson, of Queen Mary University London, added: "For Trump, his primary motivation has to be re-election."

These comments come as polling shows Trump lagging Biden in the polls, on a national level and in most battleground states. Suburban women voters have been a target for Trump, with him having lagged behind Biden in polls among them.

He previously insisted he believes "suburban housewives" will vote for him, though a previous survey suggested most of those asked disapprove of him.

Numerous national polls have shown Biden lead with women voters overall compared to Trump. A Yahoo! News/YouGov poll among 1,539 U.S. adults put Trump behind by six points among all respondents, with 47 intending to vote for Biden compared to 41 percent for the incumbent.

Among female voters, this gap grew to 11 points, with 50 percent intending to back Biden over 39 percent for Trump.

A recent Fox News poll put 54 percent of women for Biden compared to 42 percent for Trump, while when the polling included men the gap was lower, with 51 percent for Biden and 46 percent for Trump. The poll was conducted September 7 to 10 among 1,311 registered voters.

The gap has previously been described as a "gender chasm."

Newsweek has contacted the Trump campaign for comment.

Trump has said he will announced his Supreme Court nominee Saturday and confirmed they will be a woman.

Barbara Lagoa, a judge on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals since last year, and Amy Coney Barrett, who is a judge for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago, are among those being tipped to be chosen.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation on September 22 in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. He is pushing to get a nominee of his choosing on to the Supreme Court. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

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