Insiders predict Rust Belt Republican, possible Trump VP pick, could flip Biden votes in key swing states

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of potential running mates for presidential candidate Donald Trump on the 2024 Republican Party ticket.

The race to determine who will be Donald Trump’s running mate this November is continuing to heat up, with the former president telling Fox News last week he has “sort of a pretty good idea” who he’ll select.

The identity of that person remains a mystery, but a number of prospective contenders were recently asked to provide documents to Trump’s team as part of the vetting process, including firebrand Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, who some insiders say could be the key to flipping working-class Democrat voters in a number of consequential battleground states.

“J.D. Vance has become a fixture on the road for Donald Trump and is extremely popular with the Trump base,” one top GOP strategist told Fox News Digital, referencing Vance’s frequent appearances with Trump on the campaign trail and beyond.

DEMOCRATS ‘FEAR’ THIS POSSIBLE TRUMP VP PICK WHO ‘SOULD SPELL THE END FOR BIDEN’: INSIDERS

“He would be a lot of help across the entire Rust Belt and could help pick up working-class Democrat votes in places even outside his own state of Ohio. He would be an asset everywhere, really, but especially in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.”

The three states mentioned were all won by Trump in 2016 when they constituted part of the so-called “blue wall” for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton but flipped to President Biden in 2020.

All three are once again taking center stage in the presidential race and could be the deciding factor for who wins the presidency this year. Vance’s blue-collar upbringing, which he detailed in his bestselling 2016 memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” particularly appeals to many voters across those states in the same fashion Trump did during his first presidential run, another insider argued.

INSIDERS PREDICT THIS POSSIBLE TRUMP VP PICK POSES ‘EXISTENTIAL THREAT’ TO KEY AREA OD BIDEN SUPPORT

J.D. Vance

“[Vance] capably handles hostile media interviews with the poise and precision of a Yale Law School graduate while also sharing an authentic connection with blue-collar voters in the key states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. So, it’s easy to see why he’s on Trump’s list of potential picks,” said GOP strategist Matt Wolking, who served as deputy communications director for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.

“A combat veteran and a good friend of Donald Trump Jr., Vance is a fresh face from the populist, noninterventionist, union-friendly wing of the new Republican Party,” Wolking added, referencing Vance’s service in the Marine Corps and deployment to Iraq.

Wolking noted some potential downsides to Vance’s selection include that he would be the youngest vice president in 70 years, and, considering he was elected to the Senate in 2022, has only held elected office for 18 months as of June.

EXPERTS REVEAL MAJOR ‘DOWNSIDE’ TO POTENTIAL TRUMP VP PICK: ‘NO WOW FACTOR’

J.D. Vance

“He has only one general election under his belt in a state Trump won by eight points,” he added.

Another GOP strategist with experience in presidential campaigns told Fox that because Trump is working hard to court the business community, Vance’s “anti-big business inclinations would give some of those potential donors major heartburn.”

Others who have been floated as possibilities to join Trump on the Republican ticket include House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

Trump has suggested he will likely wait until July’s Republican National Convention in Milwaukee to name his pick.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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