Tracking presidential candidates for the 2024 election
Three Republicans have officially declared they are running for their party’s 2024 presidential nomination: former president Donald Trump, entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley, who was governor of South Carolina before serving as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. Plenty of others are making moves toward getting in the race, as Trump struggles to consolidate the support he once enjoyed in the GOP.
How early do candidates for president announce?
Sources: Smart Politics and Post reporting
The Republicans are focusing much of their criticism on President Biden, who has said he intends to run for reelection, as prominent Democrats have shown little interest in challenging him for their party’s nomination. Activist and author Marianne Williamson, a long-shot candidate, has said she will seek the Democratic nomination. Here’s a look at the potential field.
President of the United States
Biden has yet to officially announce he is running but has said that “it’s my intention” to seek a second term. He previewed his potential reelection pitch in his State of the Union address in February, touting legislation on infrastructure and prescription drug prices that he passed with a Democratic-controlled Congress. He zeroed in on proposals from some in the GOP to cut Social Security and Medicare spending, an idea that top Republicans in Congress have also tried to tamp down.
The GOP polling leaders
Former president of the United States
Trump got an early start, announcing his third White House bid in mid-November from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and declaring, “This comeback starts right now.” But that launch hardly cleared the field. The first weeks of his official campaign were dominated by backlash to his impromptu dinner with the rapper Ye and the far-right activist Nick Fuentes, who have both made antisemitic comments.
Ron DeSantis has dodged questions about his 2024 intentions — but behind the scenes, the Florida governor’s advisers are meeting to prepare for a potential presidential run, according to two Republicans familiar with the conversations who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
The former Trump administration officials
Former ambassador to the United Nations
Haley, the former South Carolina governor who later served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is officially the first major Republican challenger to Trump. If she wins the GOP nomination, Haley would be the first woman and the first Asian American GOP presidential nominee.
Former vice president of the United States
Mike Pence has not yet announced a run, but the former vice president has been traveling to key primary states, visiting with Christian conservative leaders and advocating abortion restrictions while highlighting the Trump administration’s role in overturning Roe v. Wade. He released a memoir in the fall. Recently, he said he would decide on whether to run “in the months ahead.”
Former secretary of state, CIA director
Mike Pompeo, who served as the former secretary of state during Trump’s presidency, recently published a book about his time in the Trump administration, in which he lashes out at the media, downplays the consequences of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and takes shots at Haley.
Former New Jersey governor
Chris Christie, who was governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018, ran for president in 2016 and has said he is considering a run in 2024. Christie endorsed Trump quickly in 2016 after dropping out of the race and led the former president’s transition team, but he later grew critical of Trump and has made some of the bluntest calls for his party to shift direction.
Former Arkansas governor
Asa Hutchinson, who spent eight years as governor of Arkansas and just left office, has hit the trail in Iowa to signal his 2024 ambitions and told NBC News in late January that he is “absolutely” considering a presidential run. He urged Republicans to look past Trump well before the midterms that intensified GOP doubts and in January said the ex-president’s role in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol “disqualifies” him from another term.
Kristi L. Noem
South Dakota governor
Kristi L. Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, won reelection to her second term in November and has gained attention within conservative circles for shrugging off restrictions and mandates in her state during the pandemic. She has claimed the state got through the pandemic “better than virtually every other state,” though South Dakota in 2020 had among the highest coronavirus infections and death tolls per capita.
New Hampshire governor
The Republican governor of New Hampshire — a key early primary state — won his fourth term by a 15-point margin in November, and he has signaled interest in a presidential run while drawing contrasts with other contenders such as DeSantis. “I’m No. 1 in personal freedoms. Sorry, Ron, you’re No. 2,” Chris Sununu told Fox News recently, referring to the Florida governor while advocating limited government and criticizing DeSantis’s moves to punish companies he views as “woke.”
Glenn Youngkin, the Virginia governor who flipped the office to Republicans in 2021, has repeatedly said he is “humbled” by speculation he may run for president, without committing to anything. The former executive of a private equity firm recently made headlines for rejecting the possibility of a Ford electric battery plant opening in his state; Youngkin cited concerns about the car manufacturer’s work with China, but some critics viewed his objections as political positioning for a potential GOP primary in 2024.
Others to watch
Activist and self-help author Marianne Williamson is waging longshot bid for the Democratic nomination. Williamson is positioning herself to Biden’s left, advocating tuition-free higher education at public institutions, among other initiatives. She also ran for president in 2020, calling for “a moral and spiritual awakening" in the U.S., and dropped out shortly before the first nominating contests. “We are not living in easy times, but the times will change when we are willing to change them,” she wrote in a Facebook post announcing her plans.
Entrepreneur and author
Vivek Ramaswamy, a wealthy entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” became the third declared Republican contender for president. The long-shot candidate is centering his campaign on opposition to all things “woke,” tapping into a common theme for conservatives who have criticized diversity programs and certain concepts of race and gender. Among Ramaswamy’s proposals: ending affirmative action and “decoupling” from China.
The former Wyoming congresswoman has waged a long, lonely battle to steer her party away from Trump, persistently criticizing the former president and warning of the damage he was doing not just to the GOP but also to democracy. For her efforts, Liz Cheney was ousted in 2021 from her position as House conference chair and replaced with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), a staunch Trump defender. Cheney would go on to serve as one of two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Tim Scott, the only Black U.S. senator in the GOP, is seriously considering a presidential run, according to people close to him, and will kick off a “listening tour” in South Carolina this week, one day after the launch event of his fellow South Carolinian, Haley. Scott will then head to Iowa as he lays groundwork for a campaign, including by tapping former Colorado senator Cory Gardner and operative Rob Collins to chair his super PAC, as first reported by Axios.
Photo editing by Christine Nguyen. Photos from U.S. Congress, White House, State Department, Getty, Arkansas National Guard, Virginia Office of the Governor, Washington Post, and Associated Press.