Since Trump knocked out the other Republican contenders in May, the speculation regarding his running mate has tended to focus on surrogates who backed him (relatively) early: Chris Christie, Ben Carson, and, the frontrunner for most of the last two months, Newt Gingrich.
Trump is likely to announce his running mate this week, but over the last few days, and Christie is apparently only being vetted for the sake of his self-esteem, Carson has had his foot in his mouth for most the last two months, and Trump’s kids don’t like Gingrich. Now, the conversation has focused on Indiana Governor Mike Pence (now the frontrunner), and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The conservative Washington Times has said that there is a “95 percent chance” that Trump picks Pence, who looks like he has Lego hair, and that many within his home state are expecting him to get the call. Pence is widely-seen as being the safest pick for Trump: He has a strong conservative record and executive experience, two things that Trump very much lacks. Picking him, as The New Republic’s Jeet Heer noted on Monday, “would be a sop to the sensibilities of conventional conservatives.” Pence, who is virulently anti-gay, anti-choice, would also presumably shore up any soft support among so-called “values voters.”
Flynn is a more interesting choice—he’s pro-choice and was a Democrat until 2014. He would do nothing to shore up support among those who doubt Trump’s conservative bona fides, or his commitment to fighting the culture wars, though it would presumably comfort some of those who doubt that Trump is temperamentally fit for the role of commander-in-chief. But Flynn is also clearly not a politician, and seems to be genuinely uncomfortable in the spotlight, though both of those qualities may endear him to Trump.