With the Republican nomination secure, the next big election market involves identifying Donald Trump’s running mate. So far I’ve taken two positions, opposing John Kasich and Ben Carson for the job. Here I look at seven alternatives being reported as in the running.
Dominating the market is one of the best-known figures in American politics and almost as divisive a figure as Trump himself. Having signalled his enthusiasm for a job many big-hitters are swerving, Betfair punters have driven Gingrich down to a peak of 2.0, equivalent to a 50% chance.
At the forefront of political life for four decades, former Speaker Gingrich famously brought the Clinton adminstration to a standstill – closing the government down over a budget standoff – beginning an era of Washington deadlock that persists to this day.
That era did his public image no favours, and a bid for the nomination in 2012 failed badly. Nevertheless, Trump has said he wants a candidate with deep political experience, with the understanding and ability to drive legislation through Congress. Gingrich is stronger in that regard than any of his rivals and has been one of the few heavyweight voices prepared to defend Trump on the airwaves throughout this cycle.
Besides experience, though, it is not clear what Gingrich brings to the ticket. Unlike other potential picks, Gingrich is unlikely to swing any key states or Democrat voters. His private life is as complicated and potentially damaging as Trump’s and there’s little reason to assume he would improve the candidate’s terrible standing with women or hispanics.