The 2024 presidential primaries are still nearly a year out, but the race for the White House is already underway.
Former President Trump became the first candidate to jump into the contest when he announced in November that he would seek to reclaim his old job. Trump’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley launched a challenge to her one-time boss three months later, underscoring a growing willingness within the GOP to confront Trump.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have also joined the race.
They likely won’t be the only Republicans in the race. Several other prospective contenders are weighing presidential bids, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, among others.
For now, at least, Trump still appears to be the front-runner, though early polling shows DeSantis posing a serious threat to the former president’s 2024 ambitions.
The Democratic field includes President Biden and two long-shot candidates. Despite polls showing voters have concerns about his age, Biden announced in April that he was running for four more years to “finish the job.”
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as more candidates announce presidential bids.
Last updated: May 4, 10:01 a.m.
After last year’s midterm elections, President Biden said he “intended” to seek another term. (AP)
After last year’s midterm elections, Biden said that he “intended” to seek another term, and he followed through in a three-minute video posted on his Twitter account, telling viewers that “this is not a time to be complacent.”
But Biden seems to be facing at least some skepticism from Democrats. Polling has consistently shown that many Democrats and voters overall do not want Biden to run for reelection. But an overwhelming majority of Democrats said they would support Biden if he became the nominee.
Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson speaks with a guest at a Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)
Williamson became the first Democrat to launch a primary challenge to Biden when she formally announced her second bid for the White House on March 4.
Williamson, a self-help author, ran for president for the first time in 2020 but dropped out before the primaries began.
She said in an interview with “Good Morning New Hampshire” that Democratic voters can both appreciate Biden’s accomplishments and want to move on from him as the party and country’s leader.
She expressed optimism about her chances to win shortly before kicking off her run, noting in an online post that many did not expect Trump to win in 2016. But Williamson is likely a long shot to win the nomination.
Democratic strategists have said they do not view Williamson as a serious threat to Biden’s chances.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist and scion of one of the country’s most famous political families, is running for president. (AP)
The nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy launched his run for the Democratic nomination on April 19.
Kennedy has advocated for environmental causes throughout his life but has become mostly known as a prominent anti-vaccine activist. He founded a nonprofit organization called Children’s Health Defense that has promoted anti-vaccine stances.
He pushed back against a “corrupt merger of state and corporate power” seeking to “poison our children and our people with chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs” during his announcement.
Kennedy is also likely a long-shot candidate for the nomination, but polling that has shown many Democrats want an alternative to Biden in 2024 could help him. A USA Today-Suffolk University poll found that 14 percent of voters who supported Biden in 2020 would back Kennedy in 2024.
Former President Donald Trump announced his third bid for the White House only one week after the 2022 midterms. (AP)
Trump launched his third bid for the White House just a week after the 2022 midterm elections, making him the first major candidate out of the gate.
His campaign got off to a relatively sleepy start. Trump didn’t make his first true campaign swings until late January, when he stopped in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two early primary states that handed Trump some of his first wins in the 2016 nominating contest.
While he remains the de facto front-runner in the GOP primary, there’s a contingent of Republicans who are hoping to move on from the former president in 2024. Trump’s top challenger appears to be DeSantis. Early polling at times showed him leading Trump or closing the gap in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, but Trump has built up large leads recently, both in a two-person race and in the more crowded field.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a political roundtable, Friday, May 19, 2023, in Bedford, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
The Florida governor ended months of speculation about his presidential ambitions in filing to run for the GOP nomination for president in late May.
DeSantis is trying to situate himself as an alternative choice to Trump, with policies similar to that of the Trump administration but without the drama that some opponents argue follows the former president.
He has also positioned himself as a leader of the war over a wide range of cultural issues, concerning diversity, LGBTQ issues and free speech.
DeSantis appeared to be closely following behind Trump in the polls, especially toward the end of last year, but Trump has since expanded a lead over other Republicans. DeSantis will need to find a way to overcome the entrenched loyalty that many in the party have to Trump to win the nomination.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley became the first Republican to challenge former President Trump for the nomination, launching her campaign on Feb. 14. (AP)
Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador, launched her presidential campaign on Feb. 14, becoming the first Republican to challenge Trump for the nomination.
Haley had been seen for years as a prospective White House candidate. In announcing her campaign, she pitched her candidacy as an opportunity to install a “new generation of leadership” at the helm of the Republican Party.
But there are also lingering questions about whether she can truly compete in the 2024 primary, especially against Republican heavyweights like Trump and DeSantis. Early polling shows her support hovering in the single digits.
Her candidacy was also met with criticism from both Trump and anti-Trump Republicans. An outside group aligned with the former president issued a statement after Haley’s announcement criticizing her as an opportunist and career politician.
At the same time, the anti-Trump Republican group, The Lincoln Project, dubbed her “a candidate with more ambition than principles,” noting how she fell in line with Trump after previously criticizing him.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) speaks during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-Off Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Clive, Iowa. (AP)
Scott, a senator from South Carolina, officially jumped in the race in May, a little more than a month after he launched an exploratory committee for a potential run.
He is viewed relatively favorably, among the most popular Republican senators, according to Morning Consult polling. But he has still polled in the mid-single digits at most in polls of Republican candidates.
Scott, the only Black Republican senator, specifically sought to strike an optimistic tone at his campaign launch event, pointing to the future as a chance for the country to grow.
“They say opportunity in America is a myth and faith in America is a fraud. But the truth of my life disproves their lies,” he said. “The good news is all we need to do is turn around.”
Vivek Ramaswamy said in a video as he announced his candidacy in a Fox interview that the country is in the midst of an identity crisis. (Greg Nash)
Ramaswamy, a conservative entrepreneur who founded a health care company called Roivant Sciences, declared his candidacy on Feb. 21.
Nicknamed the “CEO of Anti-Woke, Inc.” in a profile on him from The New Yorker in December, Ramaswamy has railed against the “woke” left’s focus on diversity and issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
He also called for the United States to proclaim a “Declaration of Independence” from China to reduce U.S. dependence on the country.
Ramaswamy has been included in numerous polls of current and potential Republican candidates but has mostly polled in low single digits.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has called for Trump to drop out of the race now that he has been indicted. (AP)
Hutchinson announced his run for the GOP nomination on April 2 during an interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Carl on “This Week.” He held a formal event to launch his bid in his home state of Arkansas later that month.
He said he decided to run because he believes he can be a leader that appeals to “the best of America, and not simply to our worst instincts.”
He has called for the Republican Party to move on from Trump. He also said in the aftermath of criminal charges being filed against Trump in New York that the former president should drop out of the race to avoid being a “huge distraction” from the race.
Hutchinson’s bid could test whether the GOP is open to the possibility of an anti-Trump candidate.
Hutchinson has been polling around 1 percent in most Republican surveys, but he told The Hill in an interview that a “large percentage” of voters want new leadership for the country, emphasizing that the race is in its early stages.
Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder speaks to supporters after losing the California gubernatorial recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif. The rare, late-summer election, which challenged California Governor Gavin Newsom, has emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Elder, a conservative radio talk show host, announced he is running for president during an appearance on Fox News in April. Elder unsuccessfully challenged California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the failed recall attempt against him in 2021.
He said during the appearance that he considers policing and crime to be among the top issues concerning him. He is likely a long-shot candidate and has polled near the bottom of the pack of candidates.
Elder, who left his longtime radio show last year, said in September that he would not feel like he is running against Trump or another Republican if he were to join the race but Biden and Harris.