Though there were many candidates running for president in 2024, the most of them were overshadowed by the same two men who competed in 2020: President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump.Most of Mr. Trump’s Republican challengers ended their campaigns before a single vote was cast, and he easily won the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses over the remaining field — partly because voters did not coalesce around a single alternative, but also because he still has a strong grip on the party’s core.
Mr. Biden is also leading the Democratic race.The 2024 presidential campaign has begun, with only three Republicans left seeking their party’s nomination to fight President Biden for reelection to a second term.
The Iowa caucuses began the nominating process on Monday, January 15, when hundreds of Republicans braved the harsh cold to choose their nominee. Former President Donald Trump took first position in Iowa, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
The New Hampshire primary will follow shortly after, on January 23.
Trump is the clear front-runner among Republican presidential candidates, but his two federal indictments by the Justice Department, as well as two further indictments by local prosecutors in Georgia and New York, have the potential to derail the race.
Here is the current field of candidates, as well as those who have opted not to run or have dropped out.
After months of stating that it was his “intention” to run for reelection, Mr. Biden made it official on April 25, 2023, with the release of a video titled “Let’s finish this job.”
“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America — and we still are,” the president said in the three-minute video. “The question we face is whether we will have greater or less freedom in the next years, more or less liberties. I know exactly what I want the answer to be. This is not the time to be complacent. That is why I am running for reelection.
Mr. Biden attempted to distinguish between his administration’s policy positions and those of his political opponents by displaying footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the United States Capitol and pro-abortion rights protesters outside the Supreme Court, as well as images of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, former President Donald Trump, and GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Around the country, MAGA extremists are lining up to take those bedrock freedoms away,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Cutting social security, which you have paid for your entire life, while lowering taxes for the very rich. Women’s health care decisions are dictated, books are banned, and people are told who they can love. “All while making it more difficult for you to vote.”
The president stated that it is time for Americans “to defend democracy, stand up for our personal freedoms, stand up for the right to vote, and our civil rights.”
“Let’s finish this job, I know we can,” he continued, “because this is the USA. And there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we work together.”
Mr. Biden’s reelection announcement had been anticipated for months, but the timetable had slipped from January to February and then April.
People involved with the current preparations told CBS News that the president was not in a hurry to launch his campaign and divert media focus away from leading GOP rivals Trump and DeSantis, who have began sparring. And now, Trump has been indicted by a grand jury in New York, with undetermined political and legal ramifications.
Mr. Biden’s announcement came as a special counsel was looking into documents with classified markings discovered at his former think tank office and residence in Wilmington, Delaware.
Trump was the first contender in either party to openly announce a 2024 presidential campaign, launching it in a November 2022 speech from his South Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.
Trump, the early front-runner for the GOP nomination, gave the keynote talk at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 4, 2023, after winning the straw poll of attendance.
While Trump remains popular among Republicans, his legal issues cast a pall over his candidacy. In March 2023, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted him on charges linked to a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, making him the first former president to face a criminal indictment.
His legal troubles worsened on June 8, when he was charged by a federal grand jury on allegations emanating from special counsel Jack Smith’s inquiry into his handling of classified government materials. In August, another federal grand jury indicted Trump on counts relating to his alleged plans to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election. In mid-August, a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, returned an indictment against Trump and 18 people for allegedly attempting to reverse the outcome of the state’s presidential election.
On May 9, Trump was found liable in a civil case brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claimed Trump raped her in a department store changing room in the 1990s and defamed her when she spoke out some years ago. He also disputed the charges. The jury found that he did not rape Carroll, but that he sexually assaulted her, and ordered him to pay her almost $5 million. The burden of proof required to find someone accountable in a civil lawsuit is lower than that required to win a criminal conviction, and it does not count against one’s criminal record.
Trump has stated that an indictment will not discourage him from pursuing the presidency, and he has exploited his mug shot, which was taken after he surrendered to Fulton County officials, to solicit funds for his campaign.
“I wouldn’t even think about leaving,” the former president declared at CPAC last year when asked if he would continue in the race if accused.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, entered the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in mid-February of last year, becoming the first rival to her former employer.
In her campaign appeal, Haley, 51, described herself as part of a new generation of Republican leadership and supported obligatory mental fitness testing for legislators over the age of 75, a covert shot at Trump, 77, and Biden, 81.
Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, and served as governor for two terms. From January 2017 to December 2018, she served as the United States’ chief diplomat at the United Nations under President Trump.
Last May, the Florida governor filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president, just hours before launching his campaign in a live appearance on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk, the platform’s CEO.
The call was hampered by technical difficulties, which delayed DeSantis’ statement. His team said the hiccups indicated his popularity, as he “literally busted up the internet.”
He outlined a program that included reducing national crime rates, promoting energy independence, and addressing immigration.
“To voters who are participating in this primary process, I promise you that if you nominate me, you can set your clock to January 20, 2025 at high noon, because I will take the oath of office as the 47th President of the United States on the west side of the United States Capitol. No excuses. “I will finish the job,” the governor stated.
The Florida governor, who is serving his second term, is widely seen as Trump’s main rival. The former president launched assaults on DeSantis even before the governor formally entered the 2024 campaign, and while DeSantis has mainly declined to respond, that is expected to change now that he is an official presidential contender.
During his stay in Tallahassee, DeSantis has earned national attention for his COVID-19 policies and support for the culture war. DeSantis has also gotten involved in education matters, altering Florida’s public education laws and running for local school board seats in the 2022 election cycle. He also just signed legislation prohibiting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.