Ranking Trump’s top 10 VP picks

Ranking Trump’s top 10 VP picks
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE is closing in on a vice presidential pick, with the vetting process in full swing. Trump will make the announcement sometime between now and the end of the Republican National Convention on July 21.

Here is The Hill’s ranking of the 10 Republicans most likely to join the ticket:

1. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Christie has worked his way into Trump’s inner circle as one of a select group of top advisers who steer the insurgent campaign into the general election.

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The New Jersey governor is a gifted orator and cut from the mold of vice presidential attack dogs. He would relish the spotlight and the fight with Clinton.

Still, Christie doesn’t add much balance to the ticket on that front, as Trump is happy to wage his own wars. And as he proved in the primaries, Christie has an outsized national profile but no true base of supporters.

He is deeply unpopular at home and the “Bridgegate” scandal has been back in the news in recent weeks.

But Christie is as close an ally as Trump has from the establishment wing of the party. He could potentially help Trump make inroads with skeptical mainstream Republicans.

Furthermore, Trump prizes loyalty. Christie was among the first big names to get on board at a time when many were keeping the presumptive nominee at arm’s length.

The deep fundraising ties Christie developed as chairman of the Republican Governors Association will be highly valued within a campaign that is struggling to raise cash.

2. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Trump has said he’d be interested in pairing up with a Washington insider. Nobody fits that bill better than Gingrich.

Like Christie, Gingrich has rhetorical flair and leaps at the opportunity to deliver a dagger.

Still, the former Speaker comes loaded with baggage. Gingrich has admitted to past infidelities and like Trump has been married three times. His early successes as Speaker were later marred by a government shutdown and the impeachment proceedings against Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump on his 'chosen one' remark: 'It was sarcasm' Kentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race MORE. He resigned the Speakership in 1999.

Is it in Trump’s interest to bring on a controversial figure from the 90s to make the case against Clinton?

Neither Gingrich nor Christie will add any value in terms of battleground state contests or shoring-up areas of demographical deficiency for Trump.

3. Alabama Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda MORE

Sessions is Trump’s top ally on Capitol Hill.

The Alabama senator’s signature issues of immigration and national security align nicely with Trump and the party’s base.

Sessions has been in the Senate for nearly 20 years and at 69 years old, could be thinking about his final act.

Still, Sessions is a pure conservative that may not have much appeal to the center. 

He lacks the dynamism of Christie and Gingrich, and his calm, understated presence might make him better suited for the role of behind-the-scenes adviser.  

4. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Pence has rocketed up the board amid reports that he is being vetted and will meet with Trump over the weekend.

He is viewed as a principled executive and would be cheered by grassroots conservatives and establishment Republicans alike.

As governor of a Rust Belt state, Pence would complement Trump’s populist pitch to working class voters. He also has connections on Capitol Hill from his time in the House.

Landing Pence would be a coup for Trump, if he can get him. Pence is in a tight race for reelection as governor.

5. Tennessee Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE

Corker, an experienced and well-regarded legislator with establishment ties and national security bona fides, would also be a major get for Trump.

Corker is viewed as a pragmatic insider and could help allay the concerns of those who worry that Trump’s foreign policy ideas are incoherent or belligerent. 

Corker would give Trump instant credibility on the policy front, an area where he is lacking in the eyes of many Republicans. But he has expressed doubts about Trump in the past, and it might be a tough sell to draw him off his perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

6. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE is crushing Trump with women voters.

Nobody believes that adding a woman to the ticket will solve all of those problems. But Trump’s problems with women voters run so deep at this point that it also can’t hurt him.

Sources within the Trump campaign have told The Hill that the businessman puts more stock in executives like himself, making it more likely that he would prize a governor over a member of Congress.

But Fallin is hardly known outside of Oklahoma, a state that is safely in the Republican column in 2016.

She has never had a large media profile and it is difficult for many Republicans to envision her making such a dramatic leap into the spotlight.

7. Tennessee Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnIs there internet life after thirty? Taylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help' The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal MORE

The brash Tennessee Republican likes to mix it up when the cameras are rolling and would be a natural fit for the Trump campaign.

Perhaps more so than Fallin, Blackburn would embrace the role of attack dog against Clinton and be able to neutralize some of the attacks Trump will face over his past disparaging remarks about women.
    
Blackburn is a fierce speaker, telegenic, and well-regarded on Capitol Hill, where she is vice chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, a member of the Budget Committee, and leading the House investigation into Planned Parenthood.

8. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson

A Trump-Carson ticket would be an Internet sensation.

Both men are adept at grabbing screaming headlines. They both drive liberals crazy. 

Importantly, Trump and Carson seem to genuinely admire and respect one another.

Carson proved to have a surprisingly large base of support during his unlikely run through the primaries. He raised tens of millions of dollars and at one point challenged Trump atop the polls.

Since endorsing Trump, Carson has served as a jack-of-all-trades, advising him in some capacities and speaking out against him publicly when he believes the businessman has erred. 

Most Republicans believe Carson is better suited in that role. They see significant downside to having two undisciplined candidates roaming the trail.

9. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown

If Trump fails to land one of his top picks, Brown is around and has nothing to lose.

He is a solid public spokesman and would make a fine looking surrogate. 

But Brown doesn’t bring anything to the ticket on the electoral front. He has lost elections for Senate in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 

As one Republican put it, “the bloom is off that rose.”

10. Ohio Gov. John Kasich

The last candidate standing against Trump in the primary is admittedly a dark horse in the vice presidential sweepstakes.

He has declined to endorse Trump, and won’t even commit to speaking at the convention that will take place this month in his home state later this month.

However, Kasich clearly has national ambitions – his campaign this week blasted out an “I told you so” memo about how he is still best positioned to take on Clinton.

If Kasich believes he can help Trump carry Ohio, and potentially win the election, it might be something he’d consider.