It’s Biden v Trump again – but who else is running for president in 2024?

It’s Biden v Trump again – but who else is running for president in 2024?
It’s Biden v Trump again – but who else is running for president in 2024?
  • By Bernd Debusmann Jr and Sam Cabral
  • BBC News, Washington DC
November 10, 2023

Updated 17 May 2024

Source image, Getty Images

Image caption, Independent and third-party candidates are unlikely to win, but could have a significant impact on he 2024 race.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the two major party candidates in the 2024 presidential election, but dozens of other people have filed to run.

None are on a realistically possible path to the White House, but the most well-known threat to siphon away support from the Democratic president and his Republican rival.

Here are the candidates with the greatest potential to disrupt the race.

Robert F Kennedy Jr

Source image, Getty Images

Image caption, Some polls show RFK Jr drawing a substantial portion of the vote in a three-way match-up

No outside candidate in decades has loomed over a national election as much as this nephew of former President John Kennedy.

A former environmental lawyer known for his anti-vaccine activism, Mr Kennedy initially sought to run as a Democrat.

But after failing to gain support within the party that is home to his family’s political dynasty, the 70-year-old mounted an independent challenge to what he called the “two-headed monster” of American politics,

At least 15 of his relatives have endorsed Mr Biden, who could blunt the threat Mr Kennedy poses to the president’s re-election.

“The Democrats are frightened that I’m going to spoil the election for President Biden. The Republicans are frightened that I’m going to spoil it for President Trump,” he said at a rally in Philadelphia.

“The truth is, they’re both right.”

During his campaign, Mr Kennedy has been criticized for repeating debunked conspiracy theories, such as a connection between childhood vaccines and autism, and for once likening Covid vaccine mandates to Nazi Germany.

But his populist economic message and criticism of the two major parties has seen him break through among many disaffected and independent voters.

Mr Kennedy stands little chance of winning the presidency – he has qualified to be on the ballots of only half a dozen states – but polls show that he may be drawing away support from both Mr Biden and Mr Trump.

The major hurdle to this independent candidacy is getting on more ballots – a complicated process varying by state that often involves collecting thousands of signatures. Mr Kennedy’s campaign says it has already met the requirements to qualify for eight other states’ ballots and has the funding to make it onto many more.

Source image, Getty Images

Image caption, Some Democrats believe Jill Stein’s 2016 bid helped propel Donald Trump to victory

The activist and physician ran as the Green Party’s candidate in 2012 and 2016.

Now back at 74 years old, she recently told BBC America that “Americans are not voting for a candidate they like”.

“They’re generally voting against the candidate they hate the most,” she said. “And that’s no way for a democracy to function.”

Ms Stein calls for an “economic bill of rights” that would include universal access to healthcare and a right to employment. She also vows to fight climate change, defend abortion access and transgender rights, and was recently arrested at a student protest on behalf of Gaza.

Unlike to garner more than one or two percent of the popular vote, she could still play spoiler to Mr Biden’s re-election hopes in a tight race.

Hillary Clinton supporters partly blame her for the Democrat’s narrow defeat in 2016. In three critical states, Mrs Clinton lost to Mr Trump by fewer votes than Ms Stein had received.

The party will confirm its nominee at a July convention and is, according to its website, on the ballot in at least 20 states.

More on the US election

Cornel West

Source image, Getty Images

Image caption, Cornel West’s campaign has focused on a socialist platform

The 70-year-old activist and well-known academic has a complicated presidential bid.

He launched it in June with the People’s Party. After falling out with the group, Mr West said he would seek the Green Party’s nomination, but then changed course to run as an independent.

His socialist platform includes funding public healthcare and slashing the US defense budget. Melina Abdullah, a member of the board of directors of the Black Lives Matter Grassroots organization, is his running mate.

He attacked Mr Biden as a “war criminal” and Mr Trump as a “fascist pied piper”.

His candidacy could be a threat to Mr Biden in crucial swing states like Michigan, but he is currently on the ballot in only three states and struggling to raise money.

Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party advocates for small government and has tended to pull more support from the right side of the political spectrum.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Kennedy are slated to speak at his convention at the end of May, where delegates will choose his presidential nominee. Mr Kennedy has proposed debating the former president there.

In 2020, the party’s nominee Jo Jorgensen received more votes than Mr Trump’s margin of defeat in three battleground states – Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin.

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