Who is in, who is out, and who is still debating the 2024 US presidential election

by Francis Ogoti
8 minutes read

Here is a compilation of declared candidates and potential contenders for the 2024 presidential race from both the Democratic and Republican parties.


Biden, who is currently 80 years old, holds the distinction of being the oldest U.S. president in history. He will need to convince voters that he possesses the energy and capability for another four years in the White House, considering concerns about his age and his low approval ratings. Biden’s supporters argue that he is running because he believes he is the only Democratic candidate capable of defeating Trump. When announcing his candidacy, he emphasized his responsibility to protect American democracy. At present, he does not face a significant challenge from within the Democratic Party.


The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has presented himself as a Trump-like figure but without the same level of controversy surrounding the former president. At 44 years old, DeSantis often ranks second to Trump in various polls. He has signed bills that impose stricter abortion regulations and further relax gun laws, positions that may gain support in the Republican primaries but could potentially alienate independent and moderate voters in the general election. DeSantis’s disputes with Walt Disney Co over its Florida theme park have raised concerns among some donors. Additionally, his ambiguous stance on continued U.S. support for Ukraine and his reluctance to respond forcefully, thus far, to Trump’s attacks have generated uncertainty.


At the age of 76, Trump officially launched his re-election campaign last November amidst significant criticism from within his own Republican Party. This criticism stemmed from his support of far-right candidates who were unsuccessful in the midterm elections. Similar to Biden, Trump remains unpopular among large segments of the electorate. However, he has maintained a strong hold on his base and improved his standing in polls, particularly after facing legal charges related to an alleged payment to a porn star. Trump currently leads the Republican race as the front-runner.


Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is 51 years old and has highlighted her relatively young age compared to both Biden and Trump. Additionally, she emphasizes her background as the daughter of Indian immigrants. Within the Republican Party, Haley has gained a reputation as a staunch conservative who can effectively address issues of gender and race, setting her apart from many of her peers. She also positions herself as a strong advocate for American interests on the international stage. Haley garners approximately 4% support among Republican voters.


As the sole Black Republican U.S. senator, Tim Scott has limited recognition outside of his home state of South Carolina. However, his optimistic approach and focus on unifying the divided party have allowed him to contrast himself with the more confrontational styles of Trump and DeSantis. Supporters of Scott acknowledge that while his positive demeanour is appealing, it may not be enough to surpass the front-runners, particularly DeSantis, who can highlight a track record of conservative legislative achievements. Scott, aged 57, currently holds just 1% of support among registered Republicans, according to Ipsos polling. He officially launched his campaign on May 22.


Former vice president Mike Pence has distanced himself from his former boss, Donald Trump, regarding the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, even though Pence was present inside the building at the time. Pence, aged 63, has stated that “history will hold Trump accountable” for his involvement in the attack. However, like other Republicans aspiring for the White House, Pence defended Trump after he was charged by New York prosecutors in the hush money case. This highlights the concern among candidates about alienating Trump’s supporters during the primary elections. Pence has expressed that he is still deliberating on whether to pursue the Republican nomination.


Asa Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas, officially launched his presidential campaign in April, urging Trump to step aside to address his indictment. At 72 years old, Hutchinson emphasizes his experience in leading a deeply conservative state as evidence of his ability to implement policies that resonate with Republican voters. He specifically highlights tax cuts and job creation initiatives as notable achievements. However, Hutchinson’s recognition beyond Arkansas remains limited.


Renowned author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson has embarked on her second, unlikely presidential bid. She previously ran as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential primary but withdrew from the race before any votes were cast. On March 23, she launched her latest campaign, expressing her intention to challenge Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.


The combative ex-governor of New Jersey is reportedly considering the possibility of running for office. Christie, who is 60 years old and previously ran for president in 2016, used to be a supporter of Trump but turned against him after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.


The governor of New Hampshire is currently exploring the idea of running for president. Sununu, who is 48 years old and has been serving as governor of the small New England state since 2017, believes that the Republican Party needs new leadership and doubts Trump’s ability to defeat Biden.


Ramaswamy, a former biotechnology investor and executive, launched a company in 2022 aimed at pressuring businesses to abandon environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives. The 37-year-old announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in February. Although seen as a potential alternative to Trump, his outsider status makes him a longshot candidate despite generating significant grassroots buzz.


Kennedy, a 69-year-old activist known for his opposition to vaccines, is making an unlikely attempt to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination. He is the son of the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated during his own presidential campaign in 1968. Kennedy has faced restrictions from YouTube and Instagram due to spreading misinformation about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic.


Former Secretary of State and CIA Director under Trump, Mike Pompeo, was considered a potential contender for the presidency but has decided not to run for personal reasons. The former congressman from Kansas was known for his unwavering loyalty to Trump and initially supported his baseless claims of election fraud in 2020.


Glenn Youngkin, a hedge fund manager who became the governor of Virginia, was also seen as a potential candidate for the Republican nomination. During his gubernatorial campaign, he emphasized the rights of parents in relation to schools. However, some key members of his staff have recently joined Governor DeSantis’ team, suggesting that Youngkin is unlikely to run in 2024.

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