After officially winning the electoral college by 306 votes to 232, Joe Biden is now President-elect of the United States, and in all likelihood will be sworn into office on inauguration day. Republicans will now be looking to both the 2022 midterms — when the GOP will aim to retake the House of Representatives — and their next opportunity to regain control of the executive branch — the 2024 presidential election.
Here are the candidates likely to compete to become the Republican nominee to face the Democrats’ candidate in 2024.
According to Mick Mulvaney, former acting White House Chief of Staff, President Trump will “likely” run again in 2024, saying that “he doesn’t like losing,” and that “there’s actually a non-zero chance that Donald Trump runs again in 2028 and Joe Biden does not … simply because of his age.”
The prospect of Trump running again was also suggested by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and the Trump campaign even polled supporters in order to gauge enthusiasm.
According to oddsmakers, should he run, Trump would be the favorite to win the Republican nomination at +160 odds, which would make him the oldest candidate in the history of U.S. presidential elections at the age of 78.
Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a favorite among many conservatives to run in 2024. Earlier this year, Haley topped a Washington Post poll of “women most likely to be the first female president,” beating Kamala Harris (before, of course, Harris was announced as Biden’s running mate).
Oddsmakers give Haley +250 odds to win the Republican nomination. Haley also “fueled 2024 presidential speculation” when she spoke at the Republican National Convention in August, saying that, “In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country.”
In addition to her political prominence, as the first female governor of South Carolina, the first Asian-American female governor, and the first Indian-American in a presidential cabinet, Haley could be well positioned to push back against Harris’ inevitable reliance on identity politics should they compete in 2024.
Besides Trump and Haley, oddsmakers see Vice President Mike Pence as another likely candidate to win the Republican nomination in 2024. In many ways, Pence’s campaign for 2024 has already begun, with Pence playing a key part in the 2020 reelection campaign for Trump. Pence’s experience as a Congressman, governor, and now Vice President certainly provides a strong resume, and his 2024 credentials could be further bolstered by Trump’s loyal base of supporters — unless, of course, Trump and Pence go head-to-head in the primaries.
Two major challenges face Pence, and both are in the form of predictable mischaracterizations by the Left. The first will be overcoming anti-religious bigotry, and the second will be rejecting the Left’s narrative that COVID-19 was solely the result of the Trump administration’s ineptitude.
If Pence’s sterling performance during the Vice Presidential debates with Harris are anything to go by, however, he has a good chance of shrugging off these challenges.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is also viewed by many as likely to run for the Republican nomination in 2024, having come in second to Trump in 2016, winning 11 contests to Trump’s 41. While that primary was politically turbulent — to say the least — Cruz has played a consistent and prominent role in the Republican party’s work since that election. The public relationship between the Texas Senator and the president also appears to have healed, with Trump referring to Cruz as “beautiful Ted,” in 2018.
Not only that, Cruz has become a significant figure in the political culture of conservatism. Perhaps most notably, he partnered with The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles on the hugely successful podcast, “Verdict with Ted Cruz,” which at one time became the number one podcast on iTunes.
Such notoriety and popularity on a cultural level may prove key to a potential Cruz run in 2024.
Many in Trump’s base have been calling for the next generation of Trump family members to take the next step, and Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have both been suggested as potential candidates for the Republican nomination in 2024. However, it is more likely that either of these Trump family members will consider an intermediary step before emulating their father with a presidential bid. For example, there is some speculation that Ivanka Trump is planning to launch the next step of her political career in Florida, and “may be considering a run for Senate.”
Among Republican politicians, there are several notable figures who may consider entering the race. Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Tom Cotton, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have gained significant support during the past few years. It will also be interesting to see whether former Governor of Ohio John Kasich will attempt to re-enter the Republican field after flirting with the Left during Trump’s term in office — even speaking at the Democratic National Convention. Then, of course, there is Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who already has a cult following among conservatives.
Among cultural figures, there are many who could attempt to mimic Trump’s successful jump into the political sphere. Tucker Carlson’s name is often floated by fans, and oddsmakers have long-shot candidate Kanye West at +10,000 odds.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.