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Will Nikki Haley Replace Mike Pence as Trump’s VP? Odds Say It’s a Longshot

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in Politics News

Mar 9, 2020 · 4:42 PM PDT

Nikki Haley at the United Nations
Is Nikki Haley going to be tapped to replace Mike Pence as Donald Trump's Vice Presidential running mate in the 2020 election? Photo by Ambassador Nikki Haley Addresses the U.N. Human Rights Council (Flickr).
  • There have been some recent rumors that Nikki Haley might replace Mike Pence as President Donald Trump’s running mate for 2020
  • Pence is currently overseeing the coronavirus outbreak, which is spreading quickly in the United States
  • Is there value betting on Haley to replace Pence for VP in the latest political prop?

There’s little question that President Donald Trump will headline the 2020 Republican ticket. But recently, there have been whispers that Vice President Mike Pence could be replaced by Nikki Haley. The popular former governor of South Carolina is on the board at +500 to be Trump’s running mate. Is she a good bet?

2020 Republican Vice President Odds

Candidate Odds
Mike Pence -1000
Nikki Haley +550

Odds taken March 9th, 2020. 

Will Pence Take The Fall For Coronavirus?

It’s odd that the topic of swapping Pence for Haley has even come up but one reason for it is that Pence could be the fall guy for the coronavirus spread. It seems like Trump’s critics are chomping at the bit to rip him – and his CDC – if they falter and the disease spreads, and maybe Pence is who gets thrown under the bus.

At the same time, the virus has spread in advanced countries like Italy, South Korea and Japan, so there’s likely not much that can be done in the United States. It would seem odd if Pence is eventually dropped with this being the issue but Trump is often volatile and looks to blame, so Pence could be the scapegoat.

Haley Eyeing 2024

Nikki Haley has been active since leaving her post as the United States ambassador to the United Nations at the end of 2018. She seems to be mildly campaigning, although it’s unclear for what. By all accounts, she’s laying the groundwork for a run in 2024. If that’s the case, that’s a better play for her than VP in 2020.

To start, Haley is very popular in the state of South Carolina, where she was governor. Given that she was part of Trump’s team, she would likely get a good endorsement from her in the run-up to 2024 – assuming he wins in 2020. He’s currently favored, according to the 2020 Presidential election odds.

We don’t really know about who’ll be in the field in 2024 but it will probably be one of Trump’s children like Ivanka or Donald Jr. (possibly), someone like Mike Pompeo, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and a host of others. Haley would be one of the few females and regardless of sex, she has strong track record. She could make a decent run.

Trump Will Stay Loyal To Pence

The general sentiment is that it would be extremely disloyal for Trump to swap out Pence for Haley and if we know one thing about Trump, he values loyalty. Pence has been a steadying presence alongside him for three years and he’ll be there to the end.

The other two points to note is that for one, Pence brings in – or helps – with the evangelical vote. He hammers home the point to them about the judge appointments, the supreme court rulings, abortion rights and Christian values. Trump needs those votes and Pence helps there. Haley wouldn’t be as strong in that regard.

And secondly, Pence helps out in the Midwest, which is where Trump will need to win to capture the Electoral College. The hope is that Pence helps lock down Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania once again. Haley would be of more use in the south but Trump is already strong there.

For those reasons, I wouldn’t bet on Haley becoming Trump’s 2020 running mate.

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