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You’ll never believe who tops the list of Trump running mates in a new swing state poll

The politician who topped former President Donald Trump’s list of possible vice presidential candidates is not even a Republican, according to a new poll in a key northeastern battleground state.

Former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 but left the party two years later to become an independent, is leading the way in a new poll from the University of New Hampshire Research Center.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of New Hampshire voters who said they did not support President Biden mentioned Gabbard’s name when asked who Trump should choose as his running mate.

Gabbard was one of about a dozen candidates who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, beating billionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy by seven percentage points.

Tulsi Gabbard calls for leaving the Democratic Party in new book

Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks during the Palmetto Family Council’s Vision 24 national conservative policy forum in North Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday, March 18, 2023. Photo by Sam Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Photographer: Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Ramaswamy supported Trump, who withdrew from the presidential race in January.

His rivals in the primary, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, had approval ratings of 13% and 9%, respectively.poll.

Scott endorsed Trump in January and has appeared regularly on the campaign trail with the former president in recent months. DeSantis endorsed Trump when he dropped out of the race in January but has not joined him in the race.

Six percent of respondents supported South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, an ally and supporter of President Trump, as his running mate.

Gabbard tells Fox News she’s open to serving as Trump’s running mate

Additionally, 5% said they would like to see former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley as Trump’s running mate.

Ms. Haley was Mr. Trump’s last running mate before she dropped out of the race more than two months ago. Although he does not support Trump, he said on Wednesday that he would vote for the former president rather than Biden in November’s presidential election.

Other candidates sampled in the poll received single-digit support.

Gabbard, an officer in the Hawaii National Guard, is an Iraq War veteran and made history as the first Samoan-American elected to Congress. He previously belonged to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and supported Sen. Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

She tried to run for the White House in 2020, but her hopes seemed slim. But since she left the Democratic Party, she has begun to appeal to conservatives.

Speaking at a Fox News town hall in South Carolina ahead of the state’s Republican presidential primary in February, Trump suggested that at least six candidates, including Gabbard, were on his shortlist for the vice presidential spot.

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Gabbard has praised Trump, telling Fox News earlier this year: “I’ve met a lot of strong, tough people in my life. [and] I can’t think of a single person who could not only withstand everything thrown at Donald Trump without crumbling, but would actually choose to continue fighting the entire Washington establishment. ”

She also told Fox News she was open to running the national ticket against Trump.

Tulsi Gabbard Don Bolduc of New Hampshire

Former Representative Tulsi Gabbard (right), a Democrat turned independent, campaigns with Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc in Loudon, New Hampshire, October 17, 2022. (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

Gabbard is also a familiar face in New Hampshire, which may have helped put her at the top of Trump’s list of potential vice presidential candidates in a new poll.

During her 2020 presidential campaign, she spent a lot of time in the state that held the nation’s first presidential primary in 2019.

And Gabbard returned to New Jersey several times in 2022, accompanying retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc on the campaign trail that year in the Republican Senate candidate’s unsuccessful bid to defeat Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan.

Get the latest 2024 campaign updates, exclusive interviews and more on Fox News Digital’s Election Hub.

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