Former President Donald Trump’s search for a running mate has undergone a tectonic shift. According to the New York Post, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who was previously a leading candidate, is now slipping into the vice presidential sweepstakes and is no longer considered a top contender.

Scott, 58, endorsed former President Trump immediately after suspending his presidential campaign before Iowa last year. He fiercely campaigned for Trump on the trail, especially in his home state of South Carolina, where the former president won decisively over former Palmetto State Governor Nikki Haley.

Recent reports indicate that Trump has narrowed his vice-presidential shortlist to a few candidates, with Scott among them. Other potential picks include Senator JD Vance (R-OH), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. These candidates are currently undergoing the vetting process. Trump is expected to make his decision on a running mate by or during the upcoming Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next month.

Sources familiar with the situation told the New York Post that Senator Scott is not expected to be Trump’s running mate, however. “I think it is extremely unlikely he will be picked,” said one insider. “You go down the list of reasons to choose a VP, and he isn’t a standout or game-changer in any category.” “His star has become less bright, for sure,” a second “well-connected” source told the outlet. “Still a top-five pick — but not the strongest.” One source also suggested that Scott may not resonate with the black community in the way the campaign may have hoped.

“There are stronger options, and Tim has the potential to serve in the Cabinet, so I think he’ll still play an important role,” the source told The Post. Yet another insider said that Scott was “still in the mix, but I suspect his biggest issue is that he’s just not very good on TV.” Another source informed The Post that Trump does not believe the VP selection will provide much of an electoral advantage. This means that candidates like Scott or Rubio do not have significant advantages over other contenders like Burgum or Vance.

The insiders also reported that several “underdog” candidates are still very much in contention, including Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Dr. Ben Carson. That said, Trump has stated before that whoever he picks, he wants to ensure they are ready to take over the presidency if need be.

“Trump is looking for three things,” the fourth source said. “He’s looking for who can raise money, he’s looking for who is an effective surrogate on TV with adversarial media, and he’s looking at who will do the best job debating Kamala Harris. Tim Scott is in contention, but probably the least likely of the four. There hasn’t been any data or evidence pointing to either Tim Scott or Marco Rubio adding to Trump’s margins with minorities.”

“Senator Scott is a respected leader and very strong supporter of President Trump,” Trump senior adviser Brian Hughes said earlier this month. “Any speculation of the likelihood of the Senator or any other possible choice is inaccurate because anyone claiming to know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying, unless the person is named Donald J. Trump.”

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