Folks! The 2024 presidential election is getting closer every day (quite literally). The race seems likely to come down to President Joe Biden vs. former president Donald Trump—but, hey, anything could happen, and there are other candidates throwing their hats into the ring.
If you’re having a hard time keeping track of who’s in, who’s out, and who is doing campaign trips to Staten Island and Europe but is still “on the fence,” we’ve got you covered. We’ll keep this post updated as things develop.
Joe Biden (D)
The current big guy in office is running for another term, seemingly on the rousing slogan of “Let’s finish the job.” Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history—he’s currently 80—and is pretty tired of defending his age. “Call me old? I call it being seasoned. You say I’m ancient? I say I’m wise,” he joked during his speech at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Biden is facing an enthusiasm gap, which is currently manifesting in better early polling numbers for some of his fringe challengers, but in a potential Biden vs. Trump matchup, the president leads in polls by 1.4 percentage points on average.
Donald Trump (R)
At 76 years old, Trump is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, despite the fact that he was recently indicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree by the state of New York, is facing countless other lawsuits, incited a violent insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and has actively hurt his party’s chances of winning in the last two elections. No matter! Trump’s recent indictment in New York resulted in a massive windfall for his campaign, which raked in $15.4 million in the two weeks after charges were filed.
Nikki Haley (R)
The 51-year-old former governor of South Carolina was the first Republican to announce her candidacy after Trump, setting the stage for a showdown of one kind or another with her former boss. (Trump appointed Haley to the role of ambassador to the United Nations under his administration in 2017; she resigned by 2018.) Haley’s big rallying cry so far is that lawmakers over the age of 75 should be subject to “mental competency tests.” It’s a clever position in that it helps Haley critique both the Republican and Democratic front-runners. (Trump’s rejoinder was to call for competency tests for all candidates, regardless of age.)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D)
A fringe candidate in part because he promotes misinformation about vaccines and conspiracy theories about Anthony Fauci, this political scion announced his presidential intentions in Boston (though he lives in California), presumably to capitalize on Northeast associations with the famous Kennedy name. The rest of the Kennedy family is not particularly happy about this; his brother Chris Kennedy told CNN that “due to a wide range of Bobby’s positions, I’m supporting President Biden.” Still, Kennedy is seeing significant support in several recent presidential polls—an indicator, if there ever was one, of limited confidence in the standard-bearer.
Asa Hutchinson (R)
Hutchinson is a two-term governor of Arkansas who has been a consistent critic of Trump, but he is no moderate alternative. He signed an abortion ban for his state that includes no exceptions, has pushed for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and spearheaded an effort for the NRA against any semblance of gun control in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Vivek Ramaswamy (R)
This 37-year-old multimillionaire entrepreneur and author has made his name criticizing the “woke left,” while arguing that “faith, patriotism, and hard work have disappeared, only to be replaced by new secular religions like Covidism, climatism, and gender ideology.” He’s a regular on Fox News, saying at one point on the air that the Department of Education “has no reason for existence.”
Marianne Williamson (D)
After running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, this 70-year-old self-help author is going for round two. Her rhetoric is progressive; her presence, a potential spoiler. Back in her first run, Republican operatives encouraged conservatives to donate to her campaign so she would remain eligible for debates and distract from the other Democratic candidates running. This time around, the strategy appears to be attracting people through TikTok. Her videos, where she talks about universal health care, gun control, and abortion rights, have gotten over 11 million views.
Larry Elder (R)
You might remember Elder from California’s 2021 recall election: He earned the most votes out of all the candidates running against Gov. Gavin Newsom, but still ultimately lost the race. He made a name for himself as a conservative talk-radio host, and is also a former practicing attorney. Throughout his career, he’s earned a problematic reputation of making disparaging comments about women. In a 1996 ad for his radio show, he said women exaggerate the problem of sexism. And, in a 2000 column, he wrote that “women know less than men about political issues, economics and current events.”
Ron DeSantis (R)
Governor of Florida and national Disney-antagonist-in-chief DeSantis has not formally announced his candidacy for president. Which is confusing because for months now he’s been acting like he’s on a national campaign, making stops in Iowa, Washington, D.C., Staten Island, and abroad, including in Israel and Japan. Though DeSantis is widely considered to be Trump’s biggest threat, and is polling around the 20th percentile, his not-yet-formalized presidential campaign has already hit some snags, with at least seven Florida lawmakers handing their endorsements to Trump. Also, Disney is suing him for retaliation, and he allegedly is struggling with social etiquette.
Mike Pence (R)
The former Republican vice president has not formally announced his 2024 candidacy for president either, but he has been soft-launching it for years. After he left the vice presidency in 2020, he published a memoir where he defended his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, while still trying to cast Trump as a friend. But he’s also been testifying against Trump, sitting before a grand jury for the investigation into Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election results being run by the Department of Justice–appointed special counsel Jack Smith.
Tim Scott (R)
Scott has also not announced his 2024 candidacy yet, but in April he launched an exploratory committee for a potential run. Now he’s expected to officially enter the race at the end of May. The 57-year-old is currently a senator from South Carolina and was chosen to deliver the GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union address in 2021. He has essentially already started campaigning, making stops in Iowa and New Hampshire.