Who’s Running in the 2024 Presidential Election So Far?
The 2024 Presidential election season is approaching fast, with new faces joining the contentious race for the Oval Office. Here is an overview of who has formally declared their candidacy and others who are predicted to.
Republican Nikki Haley announced her candidacy in February. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
1. Joe Biden, current U.S. President
President Joe Biden has repeatedly hinted at a run for a second term, chanting, “Four more years!” at several rallies in past months and highlighting his administration’s investment in green technology and public health. He previously served as Vice President during the Obama administration and as a Senator from Delaware between 1973 and 2009. Biden is a centrist Democrat.
However, many have stressed President Biden’s age (he is the oldest U.S. President in history at 80) and the economic turmoil during the pandemic as reasons he should not run again. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last month found that 58 percent of Democratic voters preferred a candidate other than Biden for the 2024 nomination. However, many still predict Biden will win the Democratic primary.
2. Marianne Williamson, self-help author and motivational speaker
Currently, Joe Biden’s only challenger for the Democratic nomination is Marianne Williamson, a New York Times best-selling author. Williamson ran for the Democratic nomination in 2020 but withdrew before the race officially began. She also ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California in 2014. With no political experience, Williamson faces an uphill battle against incumbent Biden.
Williamson is widely known for her spiritual beliefs and was Oprah Winfrey’s spiritual advisor. She has published fourteen books on spirituality and motivation, building a cult audience that includes several celebrities. Williamson also founded Project Angel Food in 1989 to serve food to people with AIDS in Los Angeles. In her announcement speech at Union Station, Williamson stated that she is running on a platform of anti-corporation populism that seeks to end “a sociopathic economic system that in policy after policy after policy makes sure that those who already have will probably get more and those who do not have will have a hard time even surviving.”
1. Donald Trump, former U.S. President
Former President Trump announced his candidacy from his Mar-a-Lago residence on November 15, 2022. “America's comeback starts right now,” he said in the announcement, citing “massive corruption” and “entrenched interests” as major political issues plaguing the nation. This is Trump’s third presidential bid, and he currently faces multiple investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Congress. During his presidency, Trump was impeached twice, first on allegations that he obstructed Congressional investigations and secondly for his role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
Some political commentators say that the poor performance of Trump-backed candidates in the midterms, such as Kari Lake and Dr. Mehmet Oz, reflects declining support for the former President. However, a recent 2024 GOP Primary Tracker poll revealed that Trump was the Republican’s top choice, with 54 percent of potential Republican primary voters supporting the former President.
2. Nikki Haley, former U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her bid for President in February, making her the only female Republican currently in the running. She has also made history as the first woman of color to be a major candidate for the Republican nomination as the daughter of Indian immigrants. Haley served as the Ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration and is running despite past claims that she would not run against Trump for the presidency. In her Twitter announcement, Haley cited the need for “generational change” and the nation’s economic troubles as her reasons for running.
During her time as governor, Haley oversaw the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, a move that many South Carolina Democrats celebrated. She also signed anti-abortion legislation into law, tightened voting registration requirements across the state, and supported Trump’s controversial ban on immigrants from several Middle Eastern countries. In addition, Haley promised to fight inflation and correct foreign policy if elected. Despite early polls showing Haley trailing former President Trump by a wide margin, she stated, “I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now.”
3. Vivek Ramaswamy, millionaire tech entrepreneur
Vivek Ramaswamy announced he was running for President in February on a platform of restoring national identity and fighting “wokeness” across the nation. Ramaswamy is the former CEO of Roivant and worked at QVT Financial as a hedge fund manager from 2007 to 2014, building a fortune of hundreds of millions. Although he considered running for Congress in the past, Ramaswamy has no political experience.
Ramaswamy is the son of Indian immigrants and a Harvard and Yale alum. He has published two books highly critical of the “modern woke-industrial complex” and corporate America’s focus on diversity. He has called affirmative action a “national cancer” and stated that his first action as President would be to cancel Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, national origin, and gender.
A poll by the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) projected just 1 percent of the Republican vote going to Ramaswamy.
Other Likely Republican Candidates
The Republican candidate pool is expected to grow, with politicians like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expected to announce their candidacy. Others include South Carolina senator Tim Scott, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Former Wyoming congressman Liz Cheney, Former national security Advisor John Bolton, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
Ron DeSantis has been highlighted as an upcoming MAGA politician, gaining national attention for his controversial “Don’t Say Gay” legislation in Florida and hardline stance against COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Former President Trump has dubbed him “Ron DeSanctimonious,” although both Republicans appeal to a similar voting base. However, as of early March, Trump is leading DeSantis by an average of 15 points in national primary polls. Nevertheless, the Republican primaries will be a crowded race.
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