Updated Dec 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Meet the 2024 presidential candidates

Data: Axios reporting and campaign announcements; Chart: Thomas Oide and Tiffany Herring/Axios
Data: Axios reporting and campaign announcements; Chart: Thomas Oide and Tiffany Herring/Axios

The GOP primary field is winnowing with a little more than a month to go until the pivotal Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: President Biden and former President Trump remain frontrunners for a potential historic rematch, but spoiler candidates and Republicans attracting anti-Trump voters and funding have brought an edge to primary season.

  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum became the latest — and seventh — candidate to drop out of the Republican primary field so far.

President Joe Biden

His campaign pitch: Biden, 81, vows to protect abortion, voting rights and Social Security. He presents Trump as a threat to America — and says that he is equipped to take him on. Biden's touted legislative wins on infrastructure, the environment and semiconductors.

Former President Donald Trump

Trump, 77, is leading in early 2024 polls. He faces a number of legal investigations, including two that have resulted in criminal charges.

His campaign pitch: The former president has repeated false statements that the 2020 election was stolen and casts himself as the victim of overzealous, politically motivated prosecutors. His campaign emphasizes border security, the economy and crime.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

His campaign pitch: DeSantis, 45, is building his campaign around many of his legislative successes in the Sunshine State centered on a far-right cultural agenda on race, gender and education.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson

His campaign pitch: Hutchinson, 73, is a vocal Trump critic who says the former president should drop out of the race. Hutchinson said that the country is facing "one of the most unpredictable political environments" he's ever seen, presenting himself as the candidate that exhibits "consistent conservatism."

Venture capitalist Vivek Ramaswamy

His campaign pitch: Ramaswamy, 38, who has never held elected office, said he wants to restore America's "national identity" and touts a vision that pushes policies further to the right than Trump would. He's the author of the book "Woke Inc." and an outspoken critic of diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley

Haley, 51, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, is likely to be the only woman in the Republican field.

Her campaign pitch: She has argued for a new generation of leadership to move the country forward and highlights her background as a daughter of Indian immigrants on the trail.

Author Marianne Williamson

Williamson, 71, is a self-help author who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2020.

Her campaign pitch: Williamson supports universal health care and tuition-free state colleges and universities, and seeks to take on corporate power and tackle economic inequality.

Activist and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and an outspoken critic of vaccines, Kennedy, 69, launched his bid for the Democratic nominee in April.

  • In October, he announced he was ditching the Democratic label and running as an independent.

His campaign pitch: Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, has criticized the pharmaceutical industry and slammed the school and business closures during the pandemic, asserting that the government and media "lie to us."

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Christie, 61, is a formerly close ally to Trump who now calls him a "coward" and "puppet of Putin."

His campaign pitch: Christie is presenting himself as the candidate with the "guts" and fearlessness to engage with Trump.

Rep. Dean Phillips

Phillips, 54, is a three-term moderate member of Congress who flipped a Republican district in 2018. He was a member of House Democratic leadership until this year.

His campaign pitch: Phillips has presented himself as a younger, more electable alternative to Biden. He said his campaign will be centered around the economy, safety, "policies that invest in our future" and "listening to each other to get back to a less divisive political environment."

The candidates who have dropped out

  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum: He did not qualify for the third GOP debate, and criticized the Republican National Committee's qualification requirements in his exit statement. He dropped out Dec. 4.
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): One of the most prominent Black Republicans in the U.S., Scott spent aggressively during his campaign but struggled to rise in the polls. He dropped out Nov. 12.
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence: In October, he became the first major GOP candidate to drop out of the Republican primary.
  • Also ex-candidates: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, former Rep. Will Hurd, conservative radio host Larry Elder and businessman Perry Johnson. Hurd, an outspoken Trump critic, endorsed Haley when he dropped out and Elder backed Trump.

Others in 2024 presidential fray

Cornel West, a prominent progressive activist and scholar, is running as an independent candidate.

Republican businessman Ryan Binkley has also launched a long-shot presidential bid.

Cenk Uygur, founder of the liberal progressive news outlet The Young Turks, said in October he was challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination.

Jill Stein announced her presidential campaign in November as a Green Party candidate. She ran unsuccessfully as the Green Party nominee in 2012 and 2016.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with new developments.

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