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2024 Presidential Hopefuls: Who’s in the Running for America’s Top Job? 

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Written by Parker Wadding 

The candidates of the 2024 Presidential election have begun campaigning for America’s top job, their credentials and key talking points are simplified below. On Tuesday, November 5, 2024, eligible United States voters will go to their nearest polling station or mail their ballot from home. In the meantime, the presidential candidates will campaign rigorously to spread their message and sway voters to their side.  

Joe Biden was elected President of the United States in 2021, previously serving as President Obama’s vice president from 2009-2017 and a Delaware state senator for 36 years. Biden’s three immediate priorities are expanding Covid-19 testing, as well as taking “science-driven” steps to address communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The next priority of his campaign is “creating good-paying, union jobs” by prioritizing clean energy and striving for net-zero emissions by 2050. The Biden campaign is also prioritizing racial equality by planning to reform the criminal justice system as well as making healthcare and education more accessible.  

Marianne Williamson’s early career, in the 1980s, was devoted to ending the AIDs crisis. She helped start a non-profit organization called Project Angel Food, which provides non-medical support to those living in Los Angeles and has written several self-help books. Williamson has stated that she is “one-hundred percent pro-choice” and will make abortion access a priority of her presidency. Universal healthcare, with an emphasis on preventative care, is a pillar of the Williamson campaign.  

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy. He is an anti-vaccine activist who has promoted the debunked idea that ‘vaccines cause autism’. Due to his success in helping restore the Hudson River with the environmental organization, Riverkeeper, Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet”. Therefore, the three-step ‘clean it up’ plan is foremost in his campaign for office. Kennedy’s campaign also prioritizes an end to the War on Drugs, Kennedy has stated that his administration will “grant amnesty to nonviolent drug offenders… Instead of defunding the police, we will transform the police.” 

Donald Trump was the 45th president of the United States, his presidency lasted from 2017 to 2021. The Trump administration will prioritize fair trade, with a heavy focus on “banning Chinese ownership of critical infrastructure in the United States”. Energy is the next issue the Trump campaign is planning on addressing. Trump has expressed a belief in the importance of relying on domestic energy resources, such as coal and fossil fuels, subsequently eliminating the Green New Deal. The third major issue stressed in Trump’s campaign is immigration and strengthening borders, which will be accomplished by “deputizing the National Guard and local law enforcement to assist with rapidly removing illegal alien gang members and criminals.” 

Nikki Haley was the former governor of South Carolina and United Nations ambassador under Trump. Haley’s top issues include immigration reform, which would be accomplished by shutting down the border, completely stopping immigration in its tracks. Economic reform is another issue her campaign prioritizes. Haley’s administration credits the U.S.’s massive inflation crisis to unnecessary government spending. In order to limit government expenses, the Haley administration plans to cut back on welfare, which was increased due to the economic hardships during the pandemic. “We should be saving taxpayer money by moving people from welfare to work, not the other way around.” 

Vivek Ramaswamy has never held public office and is a self-described political outsider as well as an “anti-woke” crusader. He is a New York Times best-selling author of political books. Ramaswamy started a drug development company and an asset management firm. His first priority is to ‘Revive the American National Identity’ by using military force to secure the Southern border, end affirmative action, and ban gender-affirming care for minors. Ramaswamy’s campaign is also centered on improving the U.S. economy, by increasing drilling, fracking, and coal burning, as well as incentivizing trade schools. 

Ron DeSantis has been governor of Florida since 2019. During that time, he signed a bill banning abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy and implemented the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to cover grades k-12. DeSantis’ campaign underscores the need to improve the U.S. economy, with plans to expand domestic energy production, restrict Medicare, and raise the retirement age for Medicare and Social Security from 67 to 70. DeSantis also cosponsored the FairTax, which effectively replaces the income, payroll, and estate taxes with a sales tax of about 23%. Experts have concluded that this shift will increase taxes for low- or middle-income houses. 

Chris Christie has been governor of New Jersey since 2010. Although Christie has addressed that gun violence is an issue in the U.S., his administration believes the issue is due to a rising mental health crisis; therefore, will not support gun control. Abortion is an issue Christie’s campaign has emphasized, by taking a pro-life stance, but not supporting a national ban. Due to case factors concerning rape, incest, and the mother’s health, Christie’s administration believes abortion should be dealt with at the state level. At the March Town Hall, he commented on America’s involvement regarding the war in Ukraine. “We’re not sending American troops to Ukraine, and I don’t believe we ever should. That’s not our war to fight with our men and women on the ground. But we should, in my view, help Ukraine defend themselves against aggression.” 

Tim Scott has been a South Carolina state senator since 2013. One of his major talking points has been a desire to secure the Southern border. Scott’s campaign supports building a wall and deploying military-grade technology at the border. Stimulating the U.S.’s manufacturing base is another issue that Scotts Campaign champions. The Scott administration will continue fossil fuel extraction and nuclear energy production, as well as make housing more affordable through comprehensive federal housing policy reform.  

List of Presidential Candidates:

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