Donald Trump could be considering a major change to the 2020 re-election ticket, with a new report suggesting that he is questioning the loyalty of Vice President Mike Pence and could potentially seek a new running mate.
A new report from the New York Times claimed that Trump has been privately asking aides whether they believe Pence will remain loyal to him, which the report noted he has done several other times in the past. Those inside the White House have backed up Pence, but the report claimed that outside advisers have given Trump some very different answers.
“Trump has reportedly not made clear whether he is seriously considering a 2020 ticket change or whether he is simply trying to get adviser’s opinions before the campaign begins,” the report noted.
Mike Pence has still played a key role in Donald Trump’s political strategies and was active on the campaign trail this year to help boost Republican candidates ahead of what was expected to be a very difficult election.
But there are other signs that Donald Trump may have privately lost his faith in Mike Pence. The New York Times report claimed that Trump never got over Pence’s criticism after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign and has thought about seeking a running mate who can better attract women voters.
There have been intermittent rumors that Pence is seeking a split from Trump as well. In August 2017, another New York Times report generated rumors that Pence could be planning to set off on his own and run for president in 2020. The report noted that Pence had taken some unusual steps for a vice president, including creating his own fundraising committee and hosting some high-powered Republican donors at his residence in Washington. The report suggested that Pence was building his own political power structure away from Trump should he choose to break free.
Some advisers are nudging Trump to make a ticket-switch to someone who can help him with women voters, the kind of move many presidents consider and almost none ever make. https://t.co/wXuwZR7vl7
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 16, 2018
There have been a handful of other Republicans who floated the idea of running a primary against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, a political rarity. If that would be the case, experts consider it an uphill battle given that Trump still has a very high approval rating among Republicans and has already been campaigning for 2020.
Despite the speculation, Donald Trump said previously at a press conference that he still plans to run with Mike Pence on the ticket.