JD Vance Chosen as Top VP Pick in Detroit, Will Trump Agree? 

lev radin / shutterstock.com
lev radin / shutterstock.com

Detroit Convention-goers at the Turning Point Action’s People’s Convention have spoken, voicing support for Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance as Trump’s vice-presidential pick for 2024. Vance easily overcame challengers, including Marco Rubio (R-FL), Doug Burgum (R-ND), and Tim Scott (R-SC). 

The poll was conducted by Big Data Poll, a grassroots movement associated with Turning Point Action, which conservative activist Charlie Kirk founded. 

Forty-three percent of the convention’s nearly 2000 attendees chose Vance, a wide margin over the number two choice, Scott, who garnered a little over 15% of the votes. 

Winning just 7% of the votes, Burgum, widely thought to be a top contender for the position, didn’t fare as well. 

Kirk remarked on Senator Vance’s win in the Detroit poll, noting that Vance has been consistently effective as a defender and advocate for President Trump. He emphasized Vance’s ability to connect with attendees from the Midwest at the Detroit conference. 

J.D. Vance is an American venture capitalist, author, and politician. He became well-known with his 2016 memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, which talks about his childhood in Middletown, Ohio, and his family’s Appalachian values.  

The memoir describes his life in poverty within the Appalachian region of the United States, providing insight into what Vance calls the “forgotten parts of America.” However, Vance’s book drew criticism from historians and journalists for portraying Appalachia and its residents, whom he characterized as lazy. According to TIME, the Ohio Senator wrote in his book that “folks talk about working more than they work.” 

In 2022, Vance won the Republican nomination for Ohio’s Senate seat with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, and he defeated Democratic nominee Tim Ryan in the general election. While once considered a “never-Trumper,” Vance has strongly supported Trump during his time in the Senate. 

Vance’s political stances echo traditional conservative values, including advocating for limited government intervention, free-market principles, and a tough stance on immigration. 

Vance supports pro-business policies, including tax cuts for corporations and small businesses, and advocates for deregulation to promote economic growth and job creation. He is concerned about rising healthcare costs and supports improving access to quality healthcare, though his specific proposals are not always detailed.  

On criminal justice reform, Vance emphasizes addressing issues related to drug addiction and incarceration, supporting alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders and rehabilitation programs.  

He takes a conservative stance on immigration, advocating for border security, enforcing immigration laws, and criticizing pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  

Vance is pro-life, opposes abortion rights, supports religious freedom, and speaks out against perceived attacks on religious liberties. In education, he advocates for school choice, believes parents should have more control over their children’s education, and supports vocational training and apprenticeship programs. 

Senator Vance serves on several Senate committees, allowing him to influence various policy areas. He is part of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees financial institutions, housing, and urban development, playing a crucial role in shaping economic policies and regulations. He also participates in the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, addressing issues related to commerce, transportation, and scientific research, including infrastructure and technology.  

Additionally, Vance is a member of the Joint Economic Committee, where he analyzes economic trends, policies, and legislation to promote economic growth and stability. Lastly, he contributes to the Special Committee on Aging, focusing on policies, healthcare, and social services for the well-being of older Americans. 

Not even 40 yet, Vance has plenty of room to grow on the political stage, unlike Burgum, who is 67. Tim Scott and Marco Rubio, in their 50s, are considered more appropriate than Burgum for future leadership roles. Even so, their past actions and current positions on issues like aid to Ukraine are met with skepticism by conservative voters.  

However, Vance has a checkered past with Trump, which may hurt his chances. Trump has felt the sting of betrayal throughout his first presidential term and even now in the face of his manufactured legal battles. In 2016, Vance referred to “Trumpism” as an “opioid of the masses,” a clever turn of phrase that did little to endear him to the former president. Vance has since reversed course and is now a very vocal supporter of Trump’s claims of 2020 election fraud. 

Trump loves drama and is no doubt enjoying the guessing game his opponents and allies are playing regarding his VP pick. But Detroit has spoken – Vance may be the key to bringing traditional conservatives back to the former president’s base.