Trump says he’s chosen vice president

The unnamed running mate will appear at next week’s presidential debate

Former US President Donald Trump has picked his vice presidential running mate, he told NBC News on Saturday. Trump said that he had not told the person yet, but that they will attend his debate with President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Speaking to NBC at a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Trump said that he had made the decision “in my mind,” and that “nobody knows” his choice yet. “They’ll be there” at the debate in Atlanta, he continued, adding that “We have a lot of people coming” to the CNN-hosted showdown.

The former president said that he would announce his choice “right around the convention,” referring to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on July 15. “Maybe a little before, but could be at the convention,” Trump said. “But we’ll have some great people.”

In interviews over the last few months, Trump has confirmed that at least ten candidates were being considered for a spot on his ticket. This shortlist has reportedly been narrowed down to just a handful of contenders, with US media outlets naming North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and author and Ohio Senator JD Vance as the top three.

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Vance, a vocal opponent of military aid to Ukraine and a supporter of Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda, is popular among Trump’s voter base. When asked who they would choose as Trump’s running mate, 43% of conservative activists at last weekend’s Turning Point Action convention in Detroit picked Vance, with the Ohioan winning three times more votes than his nearest competitor, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Rubio and Burgum came in third and fourth with 7.7% and 7% respectively.

While Thursday’s debate will not take place in front of a studio audience, Burgum, Rubio, Scott, and Vance are all expected to attend a watch party organized by Trump’s campaign, Bloomberg reported.

With just over four months to go until election day, Trump currently holds a razor-thin advantage over Biden in a polling average compiled by FiveThirtyEight. However, two polls released on Thursday showed Trump leading Biden in seven swing states, with an Ipsos survey finding the former president five points ahead of the incumbent across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada. All of these states except North Carolina were won by Biden in 2020.

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