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Get to know the 2024 presidential hopefuls

Photos of Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy on the 2024 campaign trail taken by Daniel Jacobi II, Tyler Coe and Cleo Westin.

Editor’s note: On Jan. 10, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suspended his campaign for president and has been removed from this article.

With the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, here is a breakdown of major candidates still in the 2024 presidential race just months away from November’s election.

Republican Candidates:

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump points to the crowd before the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. (Daniel Jacobi II)

Age: 77

Prior political experience: 45th president of the United States

Notable Iowa endorsements: 21 members of the Iowa Assembly, former IA-1 Rep. Rod Blum, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, Eric Branstad

Daily coverage: Republicans favor Trump over DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York, and currently resides in Florida. In 1971, Trump took over his father’s real estate business and expanded it to a variety of projects and new business endeavors. In 2004, he gained widespread fame by hosting the TV show “The Apprentice.”

In 2016, Trump ran as the Republican nominee for president against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with the campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.” He won the Electoral College 304 to 227, despite losing the popular vote by 2.87 million votes.

In 2020, he ran for re-election against current President Joe Biden and claimed voter fraud had affected the outcome, although none was found. He is the only president in American history to have been impeached twice by Congress.

Since his presidential term, Trump has become the first president to face felony indictments and is currently being prosecuted in four cases. In Georgia, he faces 13 charges regarding electoral decertification in a trial that has not yet been scheduled. In New York, he is set to face trial in March for 34 money-related charges. Federally, trials are planned for March and May, regarding four election obstruction charges and 40 charges surrounding the handling of classified documents.

In 2024, Trump seeks election for his second term as President. He has led Republican caucus polls in Iowa with around 50% of the vote.

Ron DeSantis

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, left, and Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, right, take a photograph with an Iowa fan before the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football game on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames.

Age: 45

Prior political experience: governor of Florida, U.S. House Representative

Notable Iowa endorsements: Gov. Kim Reynolds, 38 members of the Iowa Assembly and CEO of The Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats

Daily coverage: DeSantis grills “woke-ism” at Feenstra Family Picnic, Poll suggests Reynolds’ DeSantis endorsement makes little difference

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and has served as a lieutenant in the Navy and legal advisor for SEAL Team One. In 2012, DeSantis won Florida’s 6th House district. He went on to be re-elected in 2014 and 2016 and was one of the founding members of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus.

In 2018, DeSantis ran for governor in Florida. He narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent 49.6% to 49.2%. During his term, he has signed many pieces of controversial legislation including a ban on teaching critical race theory and limiting discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools.

DeSantis currently polls around 18.4% in the Republican caucus polls for Iowa and has been in second place since FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregate began.

Nikki Haley

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to the people of Iowa during her campaign in Nevada, Iowa, on Dec. 18, 2023.

Age: 51

Prior political experience: United Nations ambassador, governor of South Carolina, South Carolina House of Representatives

Notable Iowa endorsements: 12 members of the Iowa Assembly, CEO of the Meredith Corporation Steve Lacy and the mayors of Nevada, Clear Lake and Council Bluffs

Daily coverage: Nikki Haley makes campaign stop in Nevada, receives endorsement from mayor

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is from Bamberg, South Carolina, and has had a long political history on both the state and federal level. She began her political career as a State House Representative from 2005-2011. She then ran for Governor of South Carolina and won in 2010, becoming the first woman to serve in the role.

In 2016, then-president, Donald Trump, nominated her to serve as United Nations ambassador. She was approved and served until she resigned at the end of 2018. Her beliefs have run more moderate than a lot of the other possible candidates for the Republican nomination, though her core values have remained conservative. Her thoughts differ from her competitors specifically on the issue of abortion, calling for consensus and cooperation to make sensible laws regarding the issue.

Haley’s approval ratings in Iowa have steadily climbed ahead of the Iowa Caucus season. She now sits behind Trump and DeSantis at around 16% in the polls. More information on these ratings can be found here.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy poses for a photograph with bargoers dressed as the Founding Fathers after his “Free Speech & Free Drinks” event on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at the BNC FieldHouse – Bar & Grill in Ames, Iowa. (Daniel Jacobi II)

Age: 38

Prior political experience: None

Notable Iowa Endorsements: Former IA-4 Rep. Steve King, State Treasurer Roby Smith and one member of the Iowa Assembly

Daily coverage: ‘Free Drinks and Free Speech’, Vivek Ramaswamy talks World War III, corruption, at Ames Pizza Ranch

Vivek Ramaswamy is a biotech entrepreneur from Cincinnati and is the youngest candidate in the 2024 presidential race. In 2014, Ramaswamy started a pharmaceutical company called Roivant Sciences and began to accumulate his fortune.

In February, Ramaswamy announced he would run for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election. Upon doing so, he cited his motivation being that “faith, patriotism, and hard work” were being replaced by values of COVID-ism, climate-ism and gender ideology. His conservative platform points are peppered with some unconventional policy ideas including changing the standard minimum voting age to 25 years old.

Ramaswamy’s Iowa Caucus poll ratings sit at around 6%, placing him fourth, and can be found here.

Asa Hutchinson

Republican presidential candidate former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 23rd Annual Fall Banquet Presidential Town Hall on Sept. 16, 2023, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. (Daniel Jacobi II)

Age: 73

Prior political experience: governor of Arkansas, DEA administrator, U.S. House Representative

Notable Iowa Endorsements: N/A

Daily coverage: Presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson discusses crime and border control in Ames, Former Arkansas Governor makes presidential campaign pitch in Nevada

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is from Bentonville, Arkansas, and his resume is largely built upon political experience along with being an attorney and businessman. During the Ronald Reagan Administration, he was appointed as a U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

In 1996, Hutchinson successfully ran for and won a seat to represent Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2001, former President George W. Bush successfully nominated him for a position as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was then later appointed as undersecretary for border and transportation security. In 2006, Hutchinson sought the governorship of Arkansas and lost. He was elected as governor of Arkansas in 2014 and served two terms.

Hutchinson’s poll numbers in Iowa come in at about .5%. To find out more about this poll, click here.

Additional coverage of the 2024 Iowa Republican Caucus:
Thirteen candidates speak during Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines
Presidential candidates discuss abortion, border control at Faith and Freedom Coalition

Democratic Candidate

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters Feb. 3 in Des Moines after the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses.

Age: 81

Prior political experience: 46th President of the United States, 47th Vice President of the United States, U.S. Senator

As the incumbent, President Joe Biden is running in a noncompetitive primary without any major opponents. He ended 2023 with an overall job approval rating of 39% (according to Gallup Polls).

Biden is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has had a long career in politics. He turned 81 years old this past year and is America’s oldest sitting president. Biden spent 36 years as a United States senator from Delaware and served as vice president from 2009-2017 under President Barack Obama.

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