The counting of votes from the US midterm elections is not yet fully over, but leading Democrats and Republicans are already preparing for the 2024 presidential election. Reuters offers a rundown of some of the possible candidates for the White House:
FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Former Republican President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is entering the race for the White House. Strategists and party leaders say, Trump, 76, remains the likely front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024, especially if the party manages to take control of the House and Senate. But the results of Trump-backed candidates in the midterm elections have been mixed, and if Republicans fail to win control of Congress, some of them could blame him for it.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
Democratic President Joe Biden has said he intends to run again and will likely make a final decision early next year after consulting with his family. His potential candidacy was boosted by Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the midterm elections, which White House officials said showed the policies his administration was pursuing were on the right track. One thing worries some voters: how the 79-year-old president’s age might affect his candidacy and his potential performance in a second four-year term.
VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS
If Biden decides not to run, Vice President Kamala Harris could come to the fore. Harris, 58, is currently the leading alternative candidate, Democratic officials told Reuters. Most polls show her in second place behind Biden and far ahead of other potential Democratic candidates. Her poor performance during the 2020 presidential campaign and her lack of political success in standing out as vice president cast doubt on whether she could defeat a Republican challenger.
FLORIDA GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS
Republican Ron DeSantis, the 44-year-old governor of Florida, could be Trump’s leading challenger for the nomination. With a strong electoral base and significant financial resources to finance his campaign, Desantis easily won a landslide victory, securing a second four-year term as governor.
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom won a second four-year term as governor last Tuesday, scoring a landslide victory over his Republican challenger after a campaign in which he focused on national policy issues such as abortion rights and immigration. Newsom, 55, has already reached out to potential donors and staff in case Biden decides not to run, according to two sources familiar with the matter. But he is expected not to run against Biden.
TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, whose bid for a third consecutive four-year term was backed by Trump, defeated former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke in last Tuesday’s election. Sixty-four-year-old Abbott has pursued increasingly conservative policies in his second term, opposing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and wearing masks. He signed a law enacting the most restrictive abortion ban of any US state and is building a new fence along the border with Mexico. Although there have long been rumors that he could be a potential candidate in 2024, Abbott has not commented publicly on the matter for some time.
FORMER PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE
Former Republican Vice President Mike Pence was a loyal and overly moral vice president to the colorful Trump, but his boss eventually turned against him on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters rioted outside the US Capitol. A former Republican congressman, Pence then defied Trump and endorsed Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, as required by law. Since then, Pence has maintained a careful balance without risking the wrath of Trump’s electorate. It is widely believed that the 63-year-old former governor of Indiana is considering whether to enter the race for the White House. He endorsed the campaign of Brian Kemp, a staunch Trump opponent who was re-elected governor of Georgia last Tuesday.
PARLIAMENTARY LIZ CHENEY
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney has vowed to do everything she can to prevent Trump from returning to the White House and said she will soon decide whether to run for president herself. The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney played a significant role in the congressional investigation into the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. In August, Cheney lost the primary for the GOP nomination for Wyoming’s lone congressional seat to a Trump-backed challenger after saying she would not “support President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election to won.
THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT PETE BUTTIDGE
Pete Buttigieg entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination but withdrew and endorsed Biden, who then appointed him as Secretary of Transportation. In this post, Buttigieg spearheads the administration’s efforts to revamp the country’s infrastructure. Buttigieg, 40, who is a former Navy reservist and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the first openly gay cabinet member in US history.
FORMER PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN NICKY HALEY
A former governor of South Carolina and the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley was the highest-ranking woman in Trump’s cabinet. Haley, 50, is considered a rising Republican star who has at times been close to Trump and at others kept him at a distance. She publicly criticized Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and again after the Jan. 6 riots, saying his actions after the 2020 election would be “severely judged by history.” After that, her rhetoric softened and she called him a friend who still has a role in the party. In June, Haley hinted that she might run for the 2024 election if, as she said, “there’s room for her,” and in October she announced she was considering the idea early next year.
MICHIGAN GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer won a second four-year term last Tuesday after campaigning on abortion rights amid the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the constitutional right to abortion. Her Trump-backed rival, on the other hand, supported a near-total ban on abortion, including for girls who were victims of rape and incest. In October 2020, 12 men were arrested on charges of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, which authorities say began planning the crime after Whitmer imposed restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of last month, seven of them had already been convicted or pleaded guilty to participating in the plot. Whitmer said the case shows that political aggression in the US has increased in recent years.