WASHINGTON: The vote count for the U.S. midterm elections is not yet complete, but leading Democrats and Republicans are already gearing up for the 2024 presidential elections.
Here is an overview of the possible candidates for the White House:
President Joe Biden
Democratic President Joe Biden has said he intends to run for office and will likely make a final decision early next year after consulting with his family.
His potential candidacy was buoyed by better-than-expected results for his fellow Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, which White House officials saw as vindication of his administration’s policies.
A possible concern for some voters: how the 79-year-old president’s age could affect his candidacy and potential performance in a second four-year term.
Former President Donald Asset
Former Republican President Donald Trump has seemingly hinted endlessly that he will soon launch a race for the White House in 2024, more recently indicating that next Tuesday would be the date for a possible announcement.
Strategists and party leaders have said Trump, 76, remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024, especially if the party succeeds in gaining control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
But Trump has had a mixed record with the candidates he has endorsed in the midterm elections, and if Republicans fail to take control of Congress, some could blame him.
vice-president Kamala Harris
If Biden decides not to run, Vice President Kamala Harris could step in.
Harris, 58, is currently the top alternative candidate, Democratic officials told Reuters, with the majority of opinion polls showing her second to Biden and well ahead of other potential Democratic candidates.
Her lackluster performance in the 2020 presidential race and lack of notable political success as vice president has raised doubts about her ability to defeat a Republican opponent.
Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis
Republican Ron DeSantis, 44-year-old governor of Florida, could be Trump’s main rival for the nomination.
With a solid political base and a war chest behind him, DeSantis won a landslide victory Tuesday in his bid for a second four-year term as governor.
His resistance to Covid-19 restrictions, as well as clashes with liberals over LGBTQ rights, immigration and race-based discussions, has been hailed by conservatives nationwide.
California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom won a second four-year term as governor on Tuesday, handily beating his Republican opponent with a campaign focused on national political issues such as abortion rights and the immigration.
Newsom, 55, has already reached out to potential donors and staff in case Biden decides not to run, according to two sources familiar with the efforts. He shouldn’t challenge Biden.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, backed by Trump in his race for a third four-year term, beat out former Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke in Tuesday’s election.
Abbott, 64, pursued increasingly conservative policies during his second term, opposing vaccine and Covid-19 mask mandates. He signed the most restrictive abortion ban of any US state and built a new fence on the border with Mexico.
Although it has long been known that he would be a potential candidate for 2024, Abbott has not addressed the issue publicly for some time.
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Former Republican Vice President Mike Pence served as a loyal and primitive No. 2 to the flamboyant Trump, only to have his boss turn against him on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters rioted on the US Capitol. A former Republican congressman, Pence challenged Trump that day and certified Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory as required by law.
Pence has walked a fine line since, not risking the wrath of Trump’s base.
The 63-year-old former Indiana governor is widely seen as eyeing a run for the White House. He campaigned for Brian Kemp, a sworn enemy of Trump who was re-elected governor of Georgia on Tuesday.
U.S. Representative Liz Cheney
Republican U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, 56, has pledged to do everything she can to prevent Trump from returning to the White House and said she will soon decide whether to run for president herself.
The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney played a leading role in the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol.
Cheney lost the Republican Party’s nomination election, or primary, for Wyoming’s single seat in Congress in August to a Trump-backed challenger after she said she “wouldn’t accept President Trump’s lie on the 2020 election” to win.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg contested the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination before stepping down and endorsing Biden, who later named him transportation secretary.
In this role, Buttigieg led the administration’s efforts to update the country’s infrastructure.
Buttigieg, 40, a former Navy Reserve officer who served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the first openly gay cabinet member in US history.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
A former governor of South Carolina and the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley was the most high-profile woman in Trump’s cabinet.
Haley, 50, considered a rising Republican star, alternately held Trump near and at bay.
She publicly criticized him during his 2016 presidential campaign and again after the January 6 riot, saying his actions after the 2020 election would be “severely judged by history”.
Her rhetoric then softened when she called him a friend who still had a part in the party. In June, Haley teased a 2024 run, saying “if there’s a place for me,” and said in October she would consider the idea early next year.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, 51, won a second four-year term on Tuesday after campaigning hard on abortion rights after the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion .
His Trump-backed opponent backed a near-total ban on abortion, including for child victims of rape and incest.
In October 2020, 12 men were arrested for conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in a plot authorities say hatched after she imposed restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of last month, seven of them had been convicted or pleaded guilty to playing a role in the plot.
Whitmer said the case shows just how much American political activism has grown in recent years.

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