The 5 Republican Women Most Likely to Land on a Presidential Ticket

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) speaks at a news conference July 25, 2013
Senator Kelly Ayotte. Allison Shelley/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Four women are early frontrunners to be part of a 2016 presidential ticket. As voters and the media continue to obsess over the next "first" in national electoral politics, these four Republican women make a strong case to be part of such a ticket. The Democrats will likely throw down with failed First Lady-turned-Failed-Senator-turned-failed-Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton. But Republicans have a diverse group of candidates with compelling stories and strong records of success.

Condoleezza Rice

Many had hoped that the former Secretary of State and National Security adviser would have been Mitt Romney's pick in 2012. Though she was passed over for Paul Ryan, Condi Rice remains popular with Republican voters and the general public at-large. She was easily the most well-regarded figure in the George W. Bush administration. Rice would have seemed an unlikely selection prior to 2012 as many within the Republican Party stepped back and re-evaluated their foreign policy thinking. But after watching the isolationist, weak, indecisive and rogue foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration, a candidate Rice is starting to look quite appealing.

With Russia, Iran, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and ISIS being a much bigger issue now than they were in 2008 and 2012, Rice's experience and knowledge could not be matched by many others. And as almost none of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination have any in-depth foreign policy experience, she could provide that in a year where it will matter.

And if Hillary were to be the Democratic nominee in 2016, who better to explain the world as it was left to Hillary, and the world Hillary let it become? Seeing Rice picked as Jeb Bush's running-mate is no stretch given her ties to the family. But she could also be a compelling pick for Rand Paul, someone who clearly has a different foreign policy perspective but who is a candidate who needs to satisfy the concerns of foreign policy conservatives.

It would be an interesting and compelling ticket. It could be an unexpectedly brilliant ticket as well. [Potential: Vice-Presidential Nominee]

Nikki Haley

The Governor of South Carolina should cruise to second term in 2014.  By 2016, she will have 6 years of executive experience on her resume that includes a solid record of job creation and a drastic reduction in the unemployment rate. She has worked tirelessly to improve the business climate of the state and attract major businesses to relocate. Should she run for President, she would also have the clear upper-hand in the South Carolina primary, one of the 4 premier battlegrounds with a designation as the '"first-in-the-south" contest. She is the daughter or Indian immigrants and her husband did a full-year tour in Afghanistan in 2013. She also appointed the popular Tim Scott to the US Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint. [Potential: Presidential or Vice-Presidential Nominee]

Susana Martinez

The Governor of New Mexico makes sense as a Presidential of Vice-Presidential pick for many reasons. She is a female Latina Governor in a world obsessed with checking off boxes of "firsts," and she would be a two-for-one deal. But beyond the identity politics, Martinez has proven a practical and tough figure.

Her electoral accomplishments have come in New Mexico, a bluish-purple state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 by double-digit margins, proving she has broad appeal. As the GOP struggles to convince minority and women voters to give the Republican Party a chance, Martinez is a pretty effective voice in that regard: Martinez was a Democrat who shifted to the Republican Party after being personally convinced that her states values were conservative ones. It's an argument that Republicans will need if they want to broaden their support base. [Potential: Presidential or Vice-Presidential Nominee]

Carly Fiorina

Fiorina has never held political office, but the first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company proved to be a very smart and disciplined politician in her 2016 run for President.

Conservatives took to Fiorina's aggressive style, but she never had a "base" to draw from with a dozen other established candidates in the field. However, look for her to be a top option for US Senator Ted Cruz if he somehow upends Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016.

Kelly Ayotte

The US Senator from New Hampshire will be up for re-election in 2016. This presents a problem for her and many other Republicans from the 2010 Senate class such as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, and Ron Johnson: to run for re-election in a tough state; quit and run for President; or do both. So far, only Rand Paul has indicated that he wants to both run for President and re-election to the US Senate. Unlike the other candidates, his Senate seat will likely not be competitive so it is less of an issue. For Ayotte, doing both is not practical and she would be a long-shot as a Presidential contender in such a crowded field. But as a VP prospect she brings a lot to the table. She is a fairly popular US Senator and the only female contender with Northeastern credentials, an geographic region of struggle for Republicans. However, she lacks the foreign policy experience of Dr. Rice and the executive experience of Haley and Martinez, so her selection could appear more optics than experience. [Potential: Presidential or Vice-Presidential Nominee]

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Hawkins, Marcus. "The 5 Republican Women Most Likely to Land on a Presidential Ticket." ThoughtCo, Mar. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/republican-women-on-a-presidential-ticket-3303241. Hawkins, Marcus. (2017, March 9). The 5 Republican Women Most Likely to Land on a Presidential Ticket. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/republican-women-on-a-presidential-ticket-3303241 Hawkins, Marcus. "The 5 Republican Women Most Likely to Land on a Presidential Ticket." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/republican-women-on-a-presidential-ticket-3303241 (accessed December 16, 2017).