Who are the Republican 2024 presidential candidates?
The field of Republicans lining up to face President Biden next fall continues to grow. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to make his candidacy official this week, following on the heels of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s Monday announcement that he is making a run for the White House.
A number of other Republicans are thought to be still mulling bids. Former President Donald Trump has established a sizable polling lead, but rivals are hoping his mounting legal troubles and concerns about his electability will have voters looking for an alternative.
Here’s a list of every major Republican who either has entered the race, is expected to enter the race soon or is said to be considering a run.
The former president has continued to increase his national polling advantage over his rivals, establishing himself as the clear frontrunner with a polling average of more than 50% in recent national surveys.
Despite being arraigned on 34 counts tied to campaign finance fraud and being found liable by a jury in a civil case for sexually abusing and defaming the writer E. Jean Carroll, Trump has not seen his support fall among voters and has a comfortable lead in endorsements. On the policy front, he took credit for the end of Roe v. Wade in an interview last week, even as the issue of abortion continues to cost Republicans in swing elections.
After months of speculation, the Florida governor is set to formally launch his campaign on Wednesday with expectations for a public kickoff event after Memorial Day.
In a call with donors last week, the former congressman included himself with Biden and Trump as the “credible” candidates in the contest and said that only he and Biden are “electable.” But despite his easy gubernatorial reelection victory in November, DeSantis’s ability to win a national race is still up in the air, with many of his signature positions polling poorly nationally, including a six-week abortion ban he quietly signed last month.
DeSantis picked up a number of early endorsements in Iowa, and he continues to publicly feud with Disney.
The former vice president has not formally announced his candidacy, but he spoke in New Hampshire last week as he leans into a potential run. Pence has staked out unpopular positions on Social Security and abortion, saying that ending the procedure in the United States is “more important than politics.”
Polling has shown Pence struggling to win support from Republican voters. In March, the Atlantic summarized the findings of several Republican focus groups with the headline “Nobody Likes Mike Pence.”
After announcing an exploratory committee in April, the South Carolina senator filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Friday and held a launch event Monday morning at Charleston Southern University, his alma mater.
The only Black Republican currently in the Senate, Scott has already purchased television ad time in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Despite being popular among his Senate colleagues, he has yet to make a dent in early polling and at times struggled with articulating his message during his initial campaign stops last month.
A former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, Haley has attempted to distance herself from her old boss, saying at an Iowa town hall last week that she believed Jan. 6, 2021, “was a terrible day, and we don’t ever want that to happen again.”
Haley has stated that both Biden and Trump are too old for the job, saying last month she thought it was “likely” that Biden would die in office if reelected to a second term. The only woman in the race, Haley has looked to avoid staking out a firm position on abortion, saying in a policy speech last month she was seeking to start “a constructive conversation.”
The biotech founder and author of “Woke, Inc.” has pitched himself as running to the right of Trump, saying he wants to shut down the FBI, IRS and Department of Education in addition to firing half the federal workforce.
The 37-year-old Ramaswamy has been doing as many interviews as he can and has complimented Trump, saying the pair were friends who have a “deep, mutual respect for one another.” Despite lower name recognition when he entered the race in February, Ramaswamy has polled even with, and in some instances ahead of, Pence, Haley and Scott in recent surveys, something Trump said he was “pleased to see.”
The former Arkansas governor was term-limited out of office and launched his campaign last month, attempting to contrast himself with Trump, including calling the E. Jean Carroll trial another sign of the frontrunner’s “indefensible behavior.” Hutchinson has a lengthy history of public service, having been a congressman, U.S. attorney, Drug Enforcement Administration chief and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
As governor, Hutchinson signed a near-total abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest and said last month he would sign federal legislation restricting reproductive rights. So far, he has not gained traction in polling.
Sununu is the popular governor of New Hampshire, a swing state that holds one of the earliest primary contests. He has been openly mulling a campaign for months, telling CNN in April he thought he’d be good at the job of president.
It’s unclear where Sununu would stand with Republican voters broadly, considering his more moderate record on abortion rights and COVID-19. (In March, Politico called him “Washington’s Favorite Republican,” referencing his support among the pundit class that might not extend to the ballot box.) During DeSantis’s visit to New Hampshire last week he met with Sununu, who said he and the Florida governor have a “great relationship.”
Multiple outlets reported last week that the second-term governor of North Dakota was seriously considering a run, telling the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead newspaper, “There’s definitely a yearning for some alternatives right now." A former executive at Microsoft, Burgum has checked many of the same legislative boxes as DeSantis and other Republican governors, putting in place restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender minors as well as a near-total abortion ban.
The Virginia governor said he wasn’t planning on entering the 2024 race when asked at the beginning of the month, but on Thursday he released a minute-long video on Twitter that had all the trappings of a national campaign ad.
In 2021, Youngkin was able to win in a state that has gone blue in recent elections. Touted as a relative moderate, he has proposed new abortion restrictions (which were defeated in the state Legislature) and campaigned with far-right Arizona Republican Kari Lake during last year’s midterms.
The former New Jersey governor ran for president in 2016, dropping out of the race early in the primaries and becoming the first governor to endorse Trump. After leaving office, he joined ABC News and helped Trump prepare to debate Biden.
Christie has since turned into a voluble Trump critic, saying earlier this year that the former president “can’t win a general election” and telling the Daily Beast in April that he was the “viable Trump alternative.” He has yet to formally announce a run.
The conservative talk radio host entered the race in April, saying, “America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable.”
Elder most recently made headlines in 2021 as the top Republican vote-getter in the effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California. While Newsom easily avoided a recall by more than 20 points, more than 3.5 million people voted for Elder as his potential replacement. Following in Trump’s lead, Elder baselessly claimed the race was fraudulent before results were even tallied.