The 2024 race for President of the United States looks to be contentious, unpredictable and ultimately very strange. As of now, there are many hopefuls who have declared candidacy. At the same time, there are others who have danced around the notion of running without officially declaring that they’re running. So who is running? Who isn’t? Who will win?
The candidates are an eclectic group of familiar faces and surprising newcomers. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump is officially running despite the barrage of legal troubles he is dealing with at the moment. Trump is the person to beat for the Republican nomination, but there are others who could give him a run for his money.
Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is also officially running, but her chances are quite slim. Other prospective candidates have not announced anything yet despite being sure–fire options, such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence and current South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.
There has been a good deal of tiptoeing around in the Republican Party, where politicians have been afraid to declare candidacy in fear of Trumpian retribution. Nobody has done more heavy-footed tiptoeing than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Unlike the other candidates that were mentioned, DeSantis has a very good chance of winning the nomination in 2024.
According to a RealClearPolitics poll conducted on Republican voters, 52% wanted Trump in 2024, 24.9% wanted DeSantis, 4.9% wanted Pence, 3.9% wanted Haley and a meager 1.1% wanted Pompeo. Clearly, Trump is the favored candidate while DeSantis is the only other Republican with a fighting chance.
Due to recent legal troubles and his indictment in New York, Trump has received a bump in the polls. His supporters seem to respond well to his issues, casting him as a martyr who is being attacked by a corrupt and biased legal system. While that may temporarily help Trump, in prior weeks DeSantis caught up to Trump significantly and even surpassed him at times.
The safest bet would be to guess that DeSantis will be the Republican nominee in 2024. He offers fewer controversies and scandals, more self-control, a better chance at wooing swing voters, is quite young in comparison to his peers and is currently leading one of the most prosperous states in the country
On the Democratic side, things are a bit more complicated. You can feel many politicians are itching for a run at the presidency, but they are waiting on a specific decision: President Joe Biden’s choice of running or not running. If he runs, it is unlikely that many people will oppose him, especially if he is running against a MAGA candidate. Only Robert Kennedy Jr. has been brave enough to do so, and his chances of beating Biden are slim to none. If Biden chooses not to run, then things will get interesting. There are a number of people within his own cabinet and outside of it who are willing to step up to the challenge, in the instance that he decides not to run.
Kamala Harris is a given choice, considering she is Vice President of the U.S. and would give the party a female candidate in hopes of electing the first-ever female president. Transportation Secretary and 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg would also certainly try, as would California Governor Gavin Newsom, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (even though she’s technically ruled it out) and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Of these Democrats, Harris would be the most likely candidate. In all likelihood though, Biden is going to run. He has waited his whole life to become president, and he truly believes that he is mentally and physically fit enough to run the nation for another four years.
So, if Biden was the Democratic nominee, and Desantis was the Republican nominee, who would win in that election? Considering age, polling, economic performance and the ability to get people to vote, DeSantis has the upper hand. Therefore, Biden is probably hoping that Trump will be his opponent rather than DeSantis. Either way, the American people do not seem to have many good options. Yet again, they will be forced to choose between the lesser of two evils.