Who's running for president in 2024 and who has dropped out

The list of candidates includes Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and more.

ByABC NEWS
October 29, 2023, 2:42 PM

The 2024 presidential race has taken shape, with former President Joe Biden seeking reelection and President Donald Trump mounting a comeback bid for the White House -- while facing GOP competition from former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Here's an updated list of who is running for president in 2024 and who has left the race.

President Joe Biden announces he's running again

President Joe Biden gives remarks before the start of a meeting with governors visiting from states around the country in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 10, 2023.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Biden has announced he will seek a second term in office, confirming a reelection bid he has long previewed -- as he faces a possible rematch with Trump next November.

Biden announced his 2024 campaign in a pre-recorded video on April 25, the four-year anniversary of his 2020 announcement.

"The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom. More rights or fewer," he said in the video, titled "Freedom," which was posted to his social media account.

"This is not a time to be complacent. That's why I'm running for reelection."

Biden, 80, has repeatedly said he intended to run in 2024 barring some major issues such as his health.

"[M]y intention has been from the beginning to run. But there's too many other things we have to finish in the near term before I start a campaign," he told ABC News anchor David Muir at the White House in February.

Biden told Muir in December 2021 that the possibility of a rematch with Trump wouldn't dissuade him.

"Why would I not run against Donald Trump for the nominee? That'll increase the prospect of running," he said.

Donald Trump, Republican

Trump, 77, formally launched his third bid for the White House on Nov. 15, following the 2022 midterms, which did not meet Republican expectations.

Trump announced his campaign from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. It didn't come as a surprise, given that Trump had been hinting for months that he would make a run.

"America's comeback starts right now," he said, describing the U.S. as "in decline" and touting his administration as a "golden age."

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on Aug. 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images, FILE

However, Trump's third run for the White House comes as he faces four indictments -- he denies all wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty -- and has become increasingly estranged from some other leading figures in the GOP in the wake of Jan. 6, his 2020 election lies and other controversies and scandals.

While polling shows he remains overwhelmingly popular with many voters in the party, others say they want another nominee.

Ron DeSantis, Republican

The Florida governor on May 24 filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president. He kicked off his campaign in Iowa on May 30.

"Our great American comeback starts by sending [President] Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware," he declared then, going on to criticize the "failed policies" flowing out of Washington -- on crime, on the southern border, on energy production and on the state of the economy, including the cost of living, the "dereliction of duty" in the withdrawal from Afghanistan and more.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an Iowa GOP reception, May 13, 2023 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

DeSantis, 45, was reelected to a second term by a near 20-point margin in November. He entered the GOP primary field as Trump's biggest rival, according to observers and voter surveys, though Trump has continued to lead in early polling.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., independent

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially announces his candidacy for President, April 19, 2023 in Boston.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images, FILE

Kennedy, 69, initially announced his bid for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston on April 19.

He said then that the aim of his campaign, and presidency, would be to "end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power."

Months later, after repeatedly sparring with the Democratic National Committee over the rules governing its primary, Kennedy said in Philadelphia on Oct. 9 that he was leaving the party and would be running as an independent in 2024.

An attorney and activist, Kennedy is the scion of one of the country's most famous Democratic families: His father is slain Sen. Robert F. Kennedy Sr. and his uncle is former President John F. Kennedy.

However, the younger Kennedy has brought controversy to the campaign trail given his well-documented efforts to discredit vaccine use. Online, he has fueled conspiracies regarding vaccine mandates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and publicly voiced polarizing positions at an anti-vaccine mandate rally in Washington, D.C.

The candidate has espoused vaccine hesitancy since the 2000s, has become one of the most prominent voices in the anti-vaccine movement, according to experts, as the founder of Children's Health Defense, a nonprofit organization known mainly for its anti-vaccine efforts.

Nikki Haley, Republican

Former South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nov. 19, 2022.
Wade Vandervort/AFP via Getty Images

Haley, 51, announced her presidential bid in a video released on Feb. 14, a day ahead of a formal kickoff on Feb. 15 in Charleston.

Haley, who also served as a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in the Trump administration, was the first high-profile Republican to challenge Trump.

In her announcement video, Haley, the daughter of immigrants, highlighted her heritage as a South Asian woman and touted her hopeful view of what America can offer.

"My mom would always say, 'Your job is not to focus on the differences but the similarities.' My parents reminded me and my siblings every day how blessed we were to live in America," Haley said.

She underscored her credentials as a former leader of the Palmetto State, stressing its resilience, but most of all she said there was a major need for change in the GOP's candidates.

"Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. … It's time for a new generation of leadership," she said.

Haley was elected as the first female governor of South Carolina in 2010, stepping down in 2017, during her second term, to serve as a Trump ambassador until 2018.

Doug Burgum, Republican

North Dakota Gov. Burgum on June 7 jumped into the 2024 presidential race, pitching himself to voters as a candidate ready to bring small town values to the big stage.

"We need a leader who's clearly focused on three things: economy, energy and national security," Burgum, 67, said to cheers at an event in Fargo.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks as he kicks off his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, June 7, 2023 in Fargo, N.D.
Jack Dura/AP

Burgum, a former software CEO, successfully ran against the Republican Party's preferred candidate to win the 2016 gubernatorial primary and easily won reelection in 2020.

Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican

Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old multimillionaire entrepreneur and commentator who founded a major biotech company, announced on Feb. 21 that he is running for president as a Republican.

"We are in the middle of this national identity crisis, Tucker, where we have celebrated our diversity and our differences for so long that we forgot all the ways we're really just the same as Americans, bound by a common set of ideals that set this nation into motion 250 years ago," Ramaswamy told Fox News' Tucker Carlson.

In this Aug. 5, 2022 file photo Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas.
Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

When asked what his message to voters is, Ramaswamy said that "we need to put merit back into America in every sphere of our lives" -- which includes immigration policy and affirmative action, the latter of which he argued was "a national cancer."

In a campaign video shared on Twitter, he said: "We still agree on our nation's most fundamental principles, at least most of us do. Yet the goal of the ruling party in this country is to convince us that we are divided."

He is also the author of "Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam."

Chris Christie, Republican

Former New Jersey Gov. Christie announced a 2024 Republican bid for the presidency on June 6.

Christie, 61, who also ran in 2016, has made the argument that he might very well be the only Republican willing and able to bring the force needed to knock Trump out of his top spot in the field.

"There's only one lane to the Republican nomination for president and Donald Trump is at the head of it and you have to go right through him and make the case against him. And that's what I intend to do," Christie, a former ABC News contributor, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos the day after his campaign launch.

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a town hall event at the Gilchrist Metal Co. in Hudson, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

Larry Elder, Republican

Edler, 71, a conservative talk radio host, announced on April 20 that he was seeking the Republican nomination for president.

The long shot candidate first ran for elected office in 2021 in the recall election to replace California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom survived the recall effort by a wide margin, but Elder placed first among the replacement candidates.

In a tweet, Elder said, "America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable. We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there. That's why I'm running for president."

Republican presidential candidate conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder speaks to guests at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-Off, April 22, 2023 in Clive, Iowa.
Scott Olson/Getty Images, FILE

Marianne Williamson, Democrat

Williamson, 71, first wrote in an email to donors on Feb. 26 that would formally announce on March 4 that she is running for president as a Democrat, in a long shot primary challenge to Biden.

Williamson is a bestselling self-help book author who first ran for president in 2020 on a pacifist and progressive platform.

She dropped out of that race before any primaries were held, but she outlasted several other serious contenders with impressive electoral resumes, including now-Vice President Kamala Harris, who at the time was a senator from California.

Marianne Williamson speaks as she endorses then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a campaign rally at Vic Mathias Shores Park on Feb. 23, 2020 in Austin, Texas.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE

Williamson has advocated for solving foreign conflicts without military intervention and embraced progressive platforms like so-called "Medicare for All" and a $15 minimum wage.

She also became something of a viral sensation among fans and online observers for infusing her campaign with language from her career as an author, warning Trump in 2020 that "I'm going to harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field, and sir, love will win."

In her launch speech, Williamson noted the conventional wisdom that she will face a nearly impossible task of unseating Biden in a primary, casting herself as a fighter against the establishment.

"I'm not naive about the forces which have no intention of allowing anyone into this conversation who does not align with their predetermined agenda," she said.

Asa Hutchinson, Republican

Hutchinson, 72, announced he would run for president on April 2 during an interview on ABC's "This Week".

"The reason is, I've traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country. I'm convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts," Hutchinson told "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl.

Speaking to ABC News' Jonathan Karl, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announces his plan to run for the Republican presidential nomination.
ABC News

The former governor emerged as a Trump skeptic within the Republican Party and indicated to Karl that he would seek to veer away from culture wars and return to a party centered around the idea of small government -- though he insisted he's not "anti-Trump," despite calling on the former president to drop out of the race.

"When I say 'non-Trump', I want to be able to speak to the Trump voters. I want to be able to speak to all of the party and say, 'This is the leadership that I want to provide, and I think that we need to have border security. I think we need to have a strong America; we need to spend less at the federal level.' These are the values that I represent," Hutchinson said on "This Week."

Hutchinson expressed hope that his personal style in early primary states could pay dividends.

"It's still about retail politics in many of these states and also, this is one of the most unpredictable political environments that I've seen in my lifetime. So my message of experience, of consistent conservatism and hope for our future in solving problems that face Americans, I think that that resonates," Hutchinson told Karl.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) speaks at the an event, March 18, 2023, in Charleston, S.C.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Tim Scott, Republican

Scott, 58, formally announced his candidacy on May 22 at his alma mater Charleston Southern University.

Scott, South Carolina's first Black senator and the Senate's sole Black Republican, shared an optimistic message of faith in the American dream as he launched his campaign.

"We live in the land where it is possible for a kid raised in poverty by a single mother in a small apartment to one day serve in the People's House and maybe even the White House," Scott said.

Perry Johnson, Republican

Perry Johnson speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on March 2, 2023, in National Harbor, Maryland.
Jack Gruber-USA Today

A 75-year-old Michigan businessman, Johnson launched his presidential campaign for the 2024 Republican nomination amid the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference that began on March 1.

Johnson took third in CPAC's straw poll for presidential picks, with nearly 5% of the vote. He polled behind Trump and DeSantis, he was ahead of Haley and others.

While Johnson has no experience in elected office, he has a long career in business in Michigan with almost 30 years of experience in the quality standards field. Two of his companies -- Perry Johnson Registrars, and Perry Johnson, Inc. -- both can certify businesses as meeting certain industry standards.

Before CPAC, his most notable political bid was when he ran for governor in Michigan in 2022 but was removed from the ballot before the Republican primary due to what state officials found to be fraudulent and invalid petition signatures.

Founder of Create Church and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful pastor Ryan Binkley speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center, July 28, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

Ryan Binkley, Republican

A Texas-based businessman and pastor, Binkley launched his White House bid in April.

"I'm in this race because so many people are unseen. And right now our party is doing the same lineup as before," Binkley argued in an appearance on "GMA3" in August. "They're running the same playbook. If we only want 46% of the vote -- it's like we're four yards short of a touchdown. We keep running the same play over and over again. I'm saying we've got to throw out that playbook."

Cornel West, independent

Philosopher and political activist West, 70, announced on June 5 that he was running for president with the left-wing, populist People's Party, later switching to the Green Party -- and then in early October he switched to run as an independent.

While he has acknowledged that his bid is a long shot, he said in a Twitter announcement video that "I have decided to run for truth and justice."

"I enter in the quest for truth. I enter in the quest for justice. And the presidency is just one vehicle to pursue that truth and justice, what I've been trying to do all of my life," he said.

West's major issues include broadening government-provided health care under "Medicare-for-all" and ending foreign military aid.

Cornell West speaks at a Refuse Fascism rally in Union Square in New York City, Oct. 19, 2019.
Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden/Sipa USA via AP

Who has dropped out of the 2024 race

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks during a news conference June 12, 2023, in Miami.
Wilfredo Lee/AP

Francis Suarez, the Republican mayor of Miami, on June 14 filed with the Federal Election Commission to signal his candidacy.

Suarez previously highlighted his profile and backstory as the Hispanic son of a former Miami mayor and the Republican executive of a major American city, who was easily reelected in 2021. He touted his policy credentials on the economy and anti-crime measures and criticized the Biden administration for its Middle East and China policies.

In New Hampshire on April 18, Suarez said a relationship with the Hispanic community would be critical for the Republican nominee in 2024. More than 70% of the city of Miami is Hispanic, according to the latest census data.

Suarez's campaign, however, never caught hold with the broader Republican base and he suspended his bid in late August.

"Throughout this process, I have met so many freedom-loving Americans who care deeply about our nation, her people, and its future," he said in a statement at the time.

Steve Laffey, a former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, became the second Republican candidate to leave the race.

He first announced his candidacy for president on Feb. 2, saying then that he wanted to confront the country's issues.

Republican Steve Laffey, the former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, speaks about his 2024 presidential bid on Good Morning America, Feb. 6, 2023.
ABC News

"Our country has done the equivalent of using Band-Aids in place of major surgery. Somehow, we have 'gotten by,'" he said. "For the first time in a generation, we must directly confront our problems."

Laffey was a long shot for the Oval Office, given his relative lack of name recognition or statewide or federal experience.

He previously made a run for Senate in 2006 in Rhode Island, against Republican Lincoln Chafee, who was ultimately defeated by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

In October, Laffey told ABC News he was leaving the race in part because he no longer believed in his party's message -- and would be registering as an independent.

"I love being on the trail. I love meeting people," he told ABC News. "I am crestfallen that I wasn't able to cross the chasm."

In this April 22, 2023, file photo, former Texas Congressman Will Hurd speaks to guests at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-Off, in Clive, Iowa.
Scott Olson/Getty Images, FILE

Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, 46, said on June 22 that he was running for president -- and on Oct. 9, he said in a statement on social media that he was leaving the race.

"We live in complicated times and we need common sense," Hurd initially said on "CBS Mornings" in launching his bid, pointing to what he called "generational, defining challenges" such as China's rising global influence and the economic drag from inflation.

"To be frank, I'm pissed that we're not talking about these things. I'm pissed that our elected officials are telling us to hate our neighbors," he said.

"America is better together," he said, "and way more unites us than divides us."

Back in June, Hurd acknowledged he was a "dark horse candidate" but said he wouldn't be "afraid of Donald Trump" in the primary race, unlike other candidates.

Hurd was one of two Black Republicans in the House during most of his 2015-2021 tenure.

In his post in October, Hurd said he was endorsing Haley for president as the best candidate to go up against Trump.

"Unfortunately, it has become clear to me and my team that the time has come to suspend our campaign, he said.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was met with audible gasps and spats of applause when he made a surprise announcement on Oct. 28 that he was suspending his campaign for president -- becoming the first major candidate to drop out of the race.

"I came here to say it's become clear to me, this is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign right now," Pence said on stage at the Republican Jewish Coalition's Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas.

"I'm leaving this campaign, but let me promise you I will never leave the fight for conservative values and I will never stop fighting to elect principled, Republican leaders to every office in the land," he continued.

The announcement was unexpected as Pence had recently said he was working to qualify to make the next primary debate stage.

Former Vice President Mike Pence begins his U.S. presidential campaign announcement kicking off his race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in Ankeny, Iowa, June 7, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Pence, a onetime Trump loyalist, broke with Trump over Trump pushing him to overturn the 2020 election results. In his kickoff speech, in June, he stressed his differences with Trump on Jan. 6.

"The American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. Now, voters will be faced with the same choice. I chose the Constitution and I always will," Pence, 64, said, later noting how his son, a Marine, has sometimes reminded him they both made the same pledge as public servants.

Without naming Trump specifically, Pence said then that "anyone" who would disregard the Constitution should "never" be president.

Who isn't running in the 2024 race

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on March 5 became the first major Republican mulling a presidential bid to say he will not run in 2024.

Hogan said in a statement that he would not "risk being part of another multicar pileup that could potentially help Mr. Trump recapture the nomination," as Trump did in 2016 when he won the GOP nomination amid a splintered field.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan holds a news conference at the Maryland State Capitol, Aug. 5, 2021 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 14 became another high-profile Republican to announce he wouldn't be seeking the party's nomination.

"It is simplest, and most accurate, to say that this decision is personal," Pompeo said in a statement. "This is not the right time for me and my family."

"There remain many more opportunities for which the timing might be more fitting as presidential leadership becomes even more necessary," he continued.

And on June 5, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said he will not run -- in order to keep the field of Republican candidates less crowded so Trump is less likely to win.

"The stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote, and I will help ensure this does not happen," Sununu wrote in a column in The Washington Post.

ABC News' Gabriella Abdul-Hakim, Tal Axelrod, Chris Boccia, Libby Cathey, Adam Carlson, Hannah Demissie, Lalee Ibssa, Nicholas Kerr, Mariam Khan, Soo Rin Kim, Will McDuffie, Isabella Murray, Oren Oppenheim, Rachel Scott, Brittany Shepherd, Will Steakin, Leah Vredenbregt and Alisa Wiersema contributed to this report.

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