WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has decided to announce his vice presidential pick on Friday, according to two people familiar with the planning of the event.
In recent days, three candidates are believed to have risen on Trump’s short list of running mates: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Trump appeared with Christie on Monday in Virginia Beach, Va. He campaigned last night in Indianapolis with Pence. And last week, Gingrich opened a Trump rally in Cincinnati.
Christie is well known to much of the country. But just 34 percent of voters see him favorably, while 50 percent do not like him. He is popular with Republicans, who have a favorable opinion of him by a rate of 58-29. Conservatives are a little more wary, seeing him favorably by 48-33.
Gingrich also is generally unpopular to a general election audience, with 33 percent having a favorable view of him and 53 percent having an unfavorable opinion. Republicans do like him, by 62-23; conservatives, too, by 58-29.
Pence is a blank slate to 56 percent of voters. Even in the Midwest, where he’s been elected to Congress and has served as governor, 58 percent still have never heard of him.
Campaigning with Pence in Indiana last night, Trump joked, “I don’t know if he’s going to be your governor” or join the Trump ticket. Trump is expected to his running mate this week. He and Pence also appeared together at a fundraiser earlier yesterday.
The news of Trump’s plan to announce a vice presidential pick on Friday came hours after Fox News announced it was suspending its contributor agreement with Gingrich “due to the intense media speculation” that he could be Trump’s running mate.
Jay Wallace, executive vice president of news at Fox, said yesterday the network thought it was best to stop Gingrich as a contributor to avoid any conflicts of interest.
The former House speaker joined the network in 1999, and his role was suspended in 2011 when he ran for president in 2012. He returned to Fox in 2015.
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