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Democratic Strategist Has Oddly Specific Prediction for How Donald Trump Plans to Replace Mike Pence With Nikki Haley on His Ticket

John Lamparski/Getty Images // Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

People were flummoxed last week when President Donald Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence as response director to the growing coronavirus outbreak in the United States, due to the Vice President's abysmal record on health and science.

It almost seemed like Trump was setting Pence up for failure.

According to one Democratic political strategist, that's exactly what he's doing.

CNN Political Analyst Paul Begala said in an interview on Monday that Trump would dump Mike Pence from his 2020 ticket in favor of his former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Begala even predicted the exact date Trump would make the announcement.

"This is not a prediction. It's a certainty. On Thursday, July 16, that's the date the Democrat gives his or her acceptance address — on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago. He's going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms."

For his part, Trump has repeatedly vowed that Mike Pence would be Vice President for his second term, but the once-moderate Haley's far-right swing over the course of her tenure in the Trump administration has been the source of speculation for months now.

Haley has denied the rumors as well—sort of.

Like Begala, some think Trump saw the coronavirus as the perfect excuse to set Pence up for failure, and save enough face to break his promises and appoint Haley as his 2020 running mate.

Trump's history with his supporters indicates that the plan, if existent, would work.

If Pence fails in his response to the coronavirus, Trump would blame him completely and his firing of Pence would not only absolve him to his supporters, but bolster the reputation for firing people he'd crafted for years on his reality television shows.

We'll know for sure on July 16 if Begala was right.