21 January 2024

Who is running for US president? See a rundown of the major 2024 candidates

21 January 2024

Two major Republican candidates are left competing for their party’s 2024 US presidential nomination.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign on Sunday just before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.

Poor finishes last week in Iowa’s lead-off caucuses ended the White House bids of biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie dropped his campaign earlier in the month.

Here is a look at the major candidates competing for the Republican and Democratic nominations, as well as the third-party contenders:

– Republican primary field

– Donald Trump

The former president announced his third campaign for the White House on November 15 2022 at his Mar-a-Lago resort, forcing the party to decide whether to embrace a candidate whose refusal to accept defeat in 2020 sparked the US Capitol attack and still dominates his speeches.

The Republican Party front-runner remains hugely popular in the party, despite making history as the first president to be impeached twice and inciting the Capitol insurrection on January 6 2021. Referring to himself as America’s “most pro-life president”, Mr Trump nominated three conservative judges to the Supreme Court, paving the way for the reversal of Roe v Wade, which had legalised abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years. Sweeping criminal justice reforms he signed into law in 2019 eased mandatory minimum sentences and gave judges more discretion in sentencing.

In March, Mr Trump became the first former US president to be criminally charged, facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a hush-money scheme. Since then, he has been charged with 57 more felonies in three other criminal cases, accused of mishandling and unlawfully retaining classified documents and trying to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election.

His overwhelming win in the lead-off Iowa caucuses signalled his dominant position in the race for the Republican Party nomination.

– Nikki Haley

The former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor became the first major Republican Party challenger to Mr Trump when she kicked off her campaign on February 15 in Charleston. She is the only woman in the Republican Party field.

The former Trump Cabinet official once said she would not challenge her former boss for the White House in 2024. But she changed her mind, citing the country’s economic troubles and the need for “generational change”, a nod to 77-year-old Mr Trump’s age.

Ms Haley was third in the Iowa caucuses, finishing just behind Mr DeSantis.

– Democratic primary field

– Joe Biden

President Joe Biden formally announced his re-election campaign on April 25 in a video, asking voters for time to “finish this job”.

Mr Biden, the oldest president in American history, would be 86 at the end of a second term, and his age has prompted some of his critics to question whether he can serve effectively. A notable number of Democratic voters indicated they would prefer he not run, though he is expected to easily win the Democratic nomination.

Mr Biden, who has vowed to “restore the soul of America”, plans to run on his record. He spent his first two years as president combating the coronavirus pandemic and pushing through major Bills such as the bipartisan infrastructure package and legislation to promote high-tech manufacturing and climate measures.

– Marianne Williamson

Self-help author Marianne Williamson entered the Democratic primary on March 4 in Washington, calling for “a vision of justice and love that is so powerful that it will override the forces of hatred and injustice and fear”.

During her unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, she proposed the creation of a Department of Peace and argued the federal government should pay large financial reparations to black Americans as atonement for centuries of slavery and discrimination.

– Dean Phillips

The Minnesota congressman is the first elected Democrat to challenge Mr Biden for the nomination. After months of calling for a primary challenger, Mr Phillips entered the race himself on October 27 with a speech outside New Hampshire’s statehouse.

While Mr Phillips has been effusive in his praise for Mr Biden, the 54-year-old also says Democrats need younger voices to avoid a nightmare scenario where Mr Trump wins another election in the autumn.

Mr Phillips is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and heir to his stepfather’s Phillips Distilling Company empire, which holds major vodka and schnapps brands. He once served as that company’s president but also ran the gelato maker Talenti. His grandmother was the late Pauline Phillips, better known as the advice columnist Dear Abby.

– Independent bids

– Robert F Kennedy Jr

The bestselling author and environmental lawyer announced on October 9 that he was ending his Democratic presidential bid and instead launching an independent run.

A nephew of President John F Kennedy and son of attorney general Robert F Kennedy, he initially launched a long-shot bid to challenge Mr Biden for the Democratic nomination on April 19 in Boston. He said in announcing his party switch that he intended to be a spoiler candidate for both Mr Biden and Mr Trump.

Mr Kennedy has emerged as one of the leading voices of the anti-vaccine movement, with public health experts and even members of his own family describing his work as misleading and dangerous. He has also been linked to far-right figures in recent years.

– Jill Stein

The environmental activist, whose 2016 third-party presidential bid was blamed by Democrats for helping Mr Trump win the White House, says she is making another run for the nation’s highest office.

Ms Stein announced on November 9 that she will again run under the Green Party banner. “I’m running for president to offer that choice for the people outside of the failed two-party system,” she said.

She ran against Mr Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 as a Green Party candidate and received about 1% of the vote. Some Democrats said her candidacy siphoned votes away from Mrs Clinton, particularly in swing states such as Wisconsin.

– Cornel West

The progressive activist and scholar announced on October 5 that he was ending his bid for the presidency under the Green Party banner and was instead running as an independent.

Mr West wrote on X that he was running as an independent to “end the iron grip of the ruling class and ensure true democracy!” He added: “We need to break the grip of the duopoly and give power to the people.”

He initially announced in June that he would be running as a member of The People’s Party before soon switching to the Green Party.

– Who has dropped out

Republicans: Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, radio show host Larry Elder, businessman Perry Johnson, former US Representative Will Hurd of Texas and Miami mayor Francis Suarez.

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