Abbott Odds for VP Get Hike with Noem Crash
as Rookie Texas Rep Emerges in Trump Hunt

Capitol Inside
May 9, 2024

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott's odds for the vice-presidential nomination could be on the rise based as a potential beneficiary of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's stunning self-immolation as the frontrunner until she revealed that she'd shot a puppy to death for misbehaving.

But Abbott could face competition from within the Texas GOP for the Donald Trump running mate role with the former president's addition of rookie Republican U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt of Houston to the list of potential VP contenders as well during an event last weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

The first sign of a potential Abbott surge in the VP competition for the GOP came on Wednesday when the international gambling site BetUS lowered the moneyline on his chances from +4000 to +3500. The Texas leader had failed to crack the top 20 in the major sports books' assessments of the vice-president sweepstakes before and after Trump added Abbott to the pool of possible competitors almost three months ago.

But Abbott is tied now on BetUS with Hunt and U.S. Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rick Scott of Florida for 19th in the VP chase on the site that's based in Costa Rica. This appears to be Hunt's first appearance in the oddsmakers rankings in the Republican vice-presidential derby.

Abbott's stock has remained stagnant on the Canadian wagering site Bovada at +10000 despite a plug from Trump during a joint appearance at the Texas border in February when he hailed the governor as "a spectacular man" who he's definitely considering for the ticket's second spot.

The boost that Abbott's odds received on BetUS could prompt other gambling sites and the bookies in Las Vegas bookies to take notice and follow suit to keep flanks covered even if they don't view him as a legitimate competitor. Trump's omission of the Texas governor at the Republican National Committee meeting at his home in Florida could be the ex-president's way of keeping his cards to the chest for the sake of maximum surprise and shock value when he reveals his choice shortly before the party's convention in July.

Trump introduced several other new names to the VP mix at the RNC gathering with his mention of U.S. Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Michael Waltz of Florida and Hunt as possibilities. Hunt, Waltz and Banks are all U.S. military veterans who served in combat. Neither Banks or Waltz have been listed as an option on betting sites up to now.

The current BetUS and Bovada rankings both have U.S. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina and J.D. Vance of Ohio in a trio of VP contenders along with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. Scott and Burgum are tied for first on Bovada at +400 while Vance is third at +600. Scott, Burgum and Vance top the BetUS chart at +300, +400 and +500 respectively.

All of the three top contenders for VP for the GOP saw their odds vault in the wake of Noem's plunge into bad bumpkin madness with her admissions in a book on how she shot and killed her young pup Cricket in a gravel pit and a goat at her farm because she didn't like the way it smelled. Noem also suggested she would kill President Joe Biden's dog Commander if she could.

Noem has been one of Abbott's major allies in a military buildup on the Texas border - sending a battery of National Guard troops from South Dakota to Texas for reinforcements at the Rio Grande. Noem's first sign of fumbling away the favorite role for VP came this year when she was banned from all of the Native American reservations in her state. She made herself the brunt of jokes from coast to coast this year when she cut an ad for a Houston dentist who'd fixed her teeth and smile. But Noem hasn't said anything up to now about wanting to kill Abbott's beloved golden retriever Pancake.

Trump faces a decision on whether he wants a running mate who will help him carry a potential swing state like Vance theoretically could do in Ohio. That would effectively eliminate Abbott, Burgum, Scott, Noem and other red states from the equation. But U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has vaulted into 4th in the BetUS and Bovada rankings on VP odds at +550 and +800 respectively as someone who could give Trump a boost in a potential swing state.

more to come ...







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