US Election 2024: Republicans Challenging Trump’s Candidacy and the Rise of Vivek Ramaswamy

2023-08-24 09:00:00

US election 2024 These Republicans want to challenge Trump’s candidacy

Vivek Ramaswamy has made a name for himself with attacks on a “woke culture”.

© Gage Skidmore/ZUMA Press Wire / Picture Alliance

by Marc Drewello

23.08.2023, 12:00 o’clock 2 min.

A whole pool of Republicans have already made their presidential ambitions public. The clear favorite for the candidacy is Donald Trump, who clearly leads all polls. There is only one woman among the applicants

In the race for the US Republican candidacy in the 2024 presidential election, there are a number of other political heavyweights in addition to Donald Trump. But some fairly unknown candidates also want to move into the White House for their party. The list of Republican applicants at the federal electoral authority at the end of June included 268 people – and a cat. The vast majority of them have not yet collected any significant campaign donations, hired staff or even made public appearances and are ignored by the opinion research institutes in the USA – just like in this overview. The cat too. By the way, their name is Oskar Cats and, as an animal, they don’t even meet the constitutional requirements for the office of President.

But no matter whether celebrity or nameless, human or animal: All Republicans interested in moving into the White House must first win the primaries of the “Grand Old Party” – and in doing so clear the ex-president from the field, who was far in all polls lies in front.

Donald Trump is the enemy to beat

The Republican primary season begins on January 15, 2024 in the state of Iowa. A first televised debate of Republican candidates is scheduled for August 23, 2024. To be eligible to participate in the slugfest, applicants had to show campaign donations from 40,000 individual donors, with at least 200 of those donations coming from individuals in 20 states or territories. They also needed at least 1 percent support each in three national polls — or 1 percent each in two national polls, plus 1 percent each in two polls from early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Participants were also asked to sign a “pledge of allegiance” stating that they would support the person voters would nominate to run against US President Joe Biden at the end of the primaries. The purpose of these requirements was to limit the field to those who are actually serious candidates for nomination. Trump does not appear in the TV duel. “The public knows who I am and what a successful presidency I had,” he wrote on his online platform Truth Social last Sunday and announced, referring to his huge lead in the polls: “I will therefore not take part in the debates. To do this, his eight most important rivals took the opportunity to position themselves in front of an audience of millions and to present themselves as the best alternative to the ex-president.

On November 5 next year, the winner of the primaries, as the primary elections are called in the USA, will then challenge the Democratic candidate, who in all likelihood will be incumbent Joe Biden, since his inner-party competition is almost has no chance.

These are Donald Trump’s competitors

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© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall / Picture Alliance

Ron DeSantis. Florida’s governor has long been considered Trump’s most dangerous intra-party rival. The 44-year-old rising Republican star pursues ultra-conservative politics in his state, which he sees as a “blueprint” for the entire country, and poses as a fighter against left-wing woke ideology. Last November, DeSantis was reelected governor in a landslide victory, and for many the generational and leadership change among Republicans seemed a done deal. In polls, the former congressman fell far behind Trump in the months that followed. Although DeSantis still leads the field with an average poll result of 14.9 percent, the ex-president is far ahead of him with 55.9 percent.

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© Gage Skidmore/ZUMA Press Wire / Picture Alliance

Vivek Ramaswamy. At just 38 years old, the pharmaceutical company is the youngest candidate for the US presidency – and with an estimated fortune of $600 million, it has plenty of money for the election campaign. Ramaswamy has founded several biotech companies to develop drugs and has increasingly turned to politics in recent years. The son of Indian immigrants, like DeSantis, has made a name for himself by attacking a “woke culture” he likens to cancer and wanting to create a “new American dream for the next generation”. He pokes fun at corporate virtuousness on climate change and has made his outspoken opposition to promoting racial justice a key part of his campaign. His provocative statements have made Vivek Ramaswamy a star of the right-wing movement and have climbed surprisingly high in the polls: with an average of 7.1 percent, he is third behind Trump and DeSantis.

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© AP Photo/Jeff Roberson / Picture Alliance

Mike Pence. Donald Trump’s former Vice President gave himself the candidacy for his birthday. On June 7, Pence turned 64 and announced in a video posted to Twitter, “I announce today before God and my family that I am running for President of the United States.” Two days earlier, he had the required ones Documents submitted to the Federal Electoral Commission. Pence has been a loyal deputy to Trump in four years in the White House. The storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, during which rampaging Trump supporters shouted “Hang Mike Pence”, among other things, led to a break between the two. The arch-conservative politician is an evangelical Christian and is not considered very charismatic. Before his time as vice president, he was governor of the state of Indiana and before that he was a US representative in Washington for many years. His poll ratings average 4.3 percent.

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© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall / Picture Alliance

Nikki Haley. The former US ambassador to the United Nations sees herself as representing a “new generation” of political leaders. The 51-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants, born in Bamberg, South Carolina, entered the presidential race in February as the first prominent Trump challenger. Haley has openly criticized the ex-president, who made her UN ambassador in 2017, but now avoids direct confrontation. So far she is the only female candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. From 2011 to 2017 she was the first woman and youngest incumbent to serve as governor of her home state. Polls currently see her at an average of 3.3 percent.

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© AP Photo/Charles Krupa / Picture Alliance

Chris Christie. New Jersey’s ex-governor was once a confidant of Donald Trump. After his election as president in November 2016, the 60-year-old temporarily headed the transition team that was supposed to prepare the change of power. Christie was also being considered for a ministerial post, but ultimately did not get the post. One reason for this may have been a scandal over the closure of a bridge during his tenure as governor from 2010 to 2018, with which he allegedly wanted to punish a mayor who was his enemy. In recent years, Christie has broken away from Trump. Only recently did he describe the ex-president as a “coward” and “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin because of his attitude to the Ukraine war. Even when announcing his application in early June, the ex-governor attacked his competitor directly: Trump is obsessed with Spiegel, never admits a mistake, always blames someone else for mishaps and always wants to take credit for everything that goes well. Christie ran for the Republican nomination in 2016. After poor results, however, he dropped out of the primaries early on. This time, too, his chances are not particularly good at currently 3.1 percent.

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© Ron Sachs / CNP / Picture Alliance

Tim Scott. Currently the only black Republican in the United States Senate, he would like to become the first black Republican in the White House. Scott is an Evangelical Christian, comes from a humble background and sees himself as an example that everyone in the United States can make it to the top, regardless of their background. The 57-year-old has been in the Senate for his state of South Carolina since 2013, most recently being re-elected in November by a wide margin over his Democratic challenger. Scott is habitually an alternative to Trump. He often wears jeans with a blue shirt, omits the jacket and refrains from using insulting words in public appearances. In terms of content, the opponents are close in many respects. Scott repeatedly denounces the migration policy of Joe Biden and the “radical left” in particular and advocates building the wall on the border with Mexico. The senator also supports a nationwide ban on abortion. His poll average: 3.0 percent.

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© Gareth Patterson / Picture Alliance

Asa Hutchinson. The former Arkansas governor entered the presidential race in early April. Hutchinson is a classic conservative with a long political career – and has almost no chance of winning in the primaries. Only an average of 0.9 percent of respondents currently want the 72-year-old as a Republican candidate. Hutchinson is considered a proven Trump critic – if not as loud, but rather as friendlier. After Trump was charged in April with hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, he urged the ex-president to abandon his bid for the presidential nomination.

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© Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP / Picture Alliance

Doug Burgum: The North Dakota governor made his presidential ambitions official on the same day as Mike Pence. “To get the best out of America, we need a leader with a clear focus on three things: economy, energy and national security,” said the 67-year-old, explaining his bid for the Republican nomination. Burgum follows conservative politics in his sparsely populated Midwestern state. For example, earlier this year he signed legislation banning sex reassignment treatments for most minors and banning abortion almost entirely. In 2021, he set a goal to make North Dakota “carbon neutral” by 2030. The former Microsoft manager is much less well-known across the country than most of his competitors, but says he sees a “competitive advantage” in being underestimated. So far, this alleged advantage has not made itself felt: In the polls, Burgum is lagging behind at an average of 0.5 percent.

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