The 2024 Battle Begins

Meet the Contenders in the 2024 Republican Primary Race: The Essential Upward+ Guide

Eight candidates from the Republican Party have formally launched their presidential campaigns, and it's anticipated that this number could rise to almost fifteen by the end of the summer. Every candidate has carved a unique roadmap to the White House, each employing distinct strategies for their victory.

Our Upward+ coverage offers a comprehensive look at each candidate, delving into their respective poll standings, personal backgrounds, campaign stances, and their "battle lines." The latter refers to how they intend to set themselves apart from other presidential hopefuls.

Age: 76

Home State: New York

Known For: Former President of the United States (2017—2021)

Poll Watch: Hovering around 50.4% nationally

Campaign Overview: In November last year, former President Trump embarked on his re-election campaign early to secure an advantageous position in what was anticipated to become a congested group of candidates. The campaign gained momentum after Trump's indictment and arraignment in March, a development many conservatives perceived as politically inspired.

Trump's re-election effort has accumulated numerous endorsements from both early primary states and current elected officials. His campaign advertisements highlight his achievements during his presidency, including the appointment of pro-life Supreme Court justices, implementing tax cuts, confronting China, and avoiding U.S. involvement in never-ending wars.

Battle Lines: Former President Trump views Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as his main competitor for the GOP nomination. He has even gone to the extent of commending other primary race participants, such as Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, hoping their candidacy might fragment the voter base. Trump has deployed an extensive network of internet influencers, launched a series of campaign ads, and posted on Truth Social, actions that have seemingly contributed to a decline in Ron DeSantis' polling figures.

Age: 44

Home State: Florida

Known For: Governor of Florida (2018—Present)

Poll Watch: Hovering around 20.7% nationally

Campaign Overview: Governor Ron DeSantis officially kicked off his campaign last night in a Twitter space with Elon Musk, albeit starting nearly 30 minutes behind schedule due to technical issues. His campaign launch comes at a time when his poll numbers have been slipping, following a barrage of attacks over the summer from Trump, who is widely perceived to view DeSantis as his chief competitor.

DeSantis's campaign strategy is reportedly mirroring that of Ted Cruz's 2016 bid, which put considerable emphasis on early primary states. It is reported that DeSantis has received commitments for tens of millions in donations, possesses a substantial $40 million in his state account, and anticipates a transfer of an additional $80 million from a Super PAC.

Battle Lines: A majority of Florida's political establishment and legislature have rallied behind DeSantis. While he has largely refrained from directly criticizing Donald Trump, DeSantis has underscored perceived policy divergences between himself and the former president, particularly regarding COVID-19 management and what he describes as a "culture of losing.”

Age: 51

Home State: South Carolina

Known For: UN Ambassador (2017—2018)

Poll Watch: Hovering around 4.3% nationally

Campaign Overview: Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and President Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations, has positioned herself as a presidential candidate ready to lead, citing her executive experience and foreign policy credentials.

Her campaign focuses on free market economics and opposition to autocratic states like Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. Haley has consistently criticized identity politics but has positioned her gender as a positive aspect of her candidacy, in addition to emphasizing her ethnic heritage at the beginning of her campaign.

Battle Lines: Haley has criticized Ron DeSantis for not asserting his individuality and for emulating former President Trump. At 51 years old, Haley also emphasizes the necessity for a "generational change," indirectly targeting both President Biden and former President Trump as being too aged for the highest office.

Age: 37

Home State: Ohio

Last or Current Job: Businessman and Author

Poll Watch: Hovering around 3.5% nationally

Campaign Overview: In February, Vivek Ramaswamy announced his presidential campaign on Tucker Carlson Tonight, leveraging his successful business ventures and his well-received book, "Woke, Inc." Despite never holding an elected position, Ramaswamy has proposed unique stances on several issues, including increasing the voting age to 25, overhauling or scrapping various government agencies, and raising U.S. GDP growth to 5 percent or higher.

Battle Lines: Ramaswamy perceives an opportunity for himself due to his deep knowledge of Big Tech and his relative youth compared to other contenders. He was among the first candidates to openly condemn the lawsuits against Donald Trump as politically driven.

Age: 57

Home State: South Carolina

Known For: U.S. Senator from South Carolina (2013—Present)

Poll Watch: Hovering around 1.5% nationally

Campaign Overview: Senator Tim Scott's campaign received national attention following Elon Musk's approving tweetabout Scott's views on wokeness. Following this, his campaign executed an ambitious $6 million ad buy in primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Scott has centered his campaign on "optimism," advocating for policies like opportunity zones for minorities and rejecting the victimhood narrative of woke ideologies. Scott, a bachelor, does not have children.

Battle Lines: As a Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott faces pressure to distinguish himself from Nikki Haley, another South Carolinian in the race. He maintains that there's "room for two" South Carolinians in the campaign. Scott had earlier drawn attention for criticizing former President Trump after the Charlottesville riots and for supporting Black Lives Matter.

To strengthen his campaign, Scott has secured numerous high-profile endorsements, including those from former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, U.S. Senate Whip John Thune, and tech billionaire Larry Ellison. Donald Trump welcomed Scott to the race, saying he’s a “big step up” from Ron DeSantis, as we reported this morning.

Age: 72

Home State: Arkansas

Known For: Governor of Arkansas

Poll Watch: Hovering around 1.5% nationally

Campaign Overview: Asa Hutchinson, after completing his second term as Governor of Arkansas, has turned his attention to the presidency. In contrast to other candidates, Hutchinson has carved a moderate path, dismissing claims of 2020 election fraud and prioritizing Reagan-esque tax reform. While serving as Governor, Hutchinson gained attentionfor vetoing a bill that would have prohibited transgender surgery for minors.

Battle Lines: Hutchinson has targeted what he views as "divisive" Republicans, asserting that his campaign will concentrate on "the best of America." For example, he criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for policies against Disney that he believes "punish the private sector." Furthermore, he stated that the GOP won't reclaim the White House if Trump becomes the nominee, and he condemned the former president for negotiating with the Taliban and increasing the national debt.

Age: 71

Home State: California

Known For: Republican Candidate for California Governor in 2021, media host

Poll Watch: Not currently visible in national polling

Campaign Overview: Larry Elder, renowned for hosting The Larry Elder Show (1993—2022) and for his unsuccessful challenge to incumbent California Governor Gavin Newsom in a 2021 recall election, declared his presidential candidacy on Tucker Carlson Tonight in April. According to his campaign website, Elder's campaign is centered on ending "soft-on-crime" policies, promoting school choice, and advocating for "racial harmony."

Battle Lines: Elder views his 2021 gubernatorial run, which attracted a large online following, as a template for his presidential bid. Elder has abstained from making comments about other candidates during his announcement, but he has repeatedly emphasized that American "decline is not inevitable," a phrase also used by fellow Republican candidate Ron DeSantis in his campaign launch.

Other announced candidates for President include Ryan Binkley, a pastor from Texas who founded Create Church, and Perry Johnson, a businessman from Michigan. Both candidates show low support and currently fail to register in national polling.

Pending Announcements

Age: 63

Home State: Indiana

Known For: Vice President of the United States (2017—2021)

Poll Watch: Hovering around 5% nationally

Campaign Overview: Mike Pence, former Vice President of the United States, who has had disagreements with President Trump regarding the latter's stance on election fraud, is still considering a presidential run. However, Pence has been active, increasing his visits to early primary states including Iowa. Pence is scheduled to participate in a CNN Town Hall on June 7th, reminiscent of former President Trump's appearance on the network.

Battle Lines: Pence has made efforts to distinguish himself from Former President Trump. He compared Trump's positions on Social Security and Medicaid to those of President Biden, describing them as “identical” and has criticized him publicly.

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