The 2024 presidential race has officially kicked off with the start of the presidential primaries.

Donald Trump has picked up his second victory – comfortably defeating Nikki Haley on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination in New Hampshire.

Ms Haley has vowed to fight on to South Carolina, her home state, on February 24, but she faces a tough task in halting the Trump juggernaut.

For the Republicans, the nomination race has narrowed to a two-person contest between Mr Trump and Ms Haley after Ron DeSantis dramatically quit the race on Sunday night.

On the other side of the race, Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination in New Hampshire but Dean Phillips, his main rival, rattled the party by taking 20 per cent of the vote.

Here, The Telegraph takes a closer look at the candidates who have announced their bids.

Learn more about the candidates

Click to explore in-depth profiles of the presidential hopefuls

Republicans

Donald Trump

Former US President

Nikki Haley

Former US Ambassador

Ryan Binkley

Pastor & businessman

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor

Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Governor

Vivek Ramaswamy

Health entrepreneur & venture capitalist

Mike Pence

Former Vice President

Chris Christie

Former New Jersey Governor

Tim Scott

US Senator for South Carolina

Doug Burgum

North Dakota Governor

Francis Suarez

Miami Mayor

Will Hurd

Former CIA spy & former Texas congressman

Larry Elder

Political commentator

Perry Johnson

Entrepreneur & author

Democrats

Joe Biden

Incumbent US President

Marianne Williamson

Author & motivational speaker

Dean Phillips

Minnesota Congressman

Green

Jill Stein

Physician & activist

Independent

Robert F Kennedy Jr

Lawyer & activist

Cornel West

Philosopher & activist

Donald Trump

Former US President

Donald TrumpDonald Trump

Donald Trump

When did he declare? Donald Trump was the first major candidate to declare his 2024 bid, during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort in November 2022.

“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Mr Trump told a crowd of his cheering supporters. He added: “This is not just a campaign… This is a quest to save our country.”

Where is he polling? Mr Trump remains far ahead of all other Republican candidates in the national primary polls at 68.5 per cent, according to aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

What are his flagship policies? Framing himself as a Washington outsider once again, Mr Trump plans a root and branch overhaul of the US government, revoking the independence of some agencies, abolishing the Department of Education and instituting a mass cull of the Justice Department as well as the top level of the US national security apparatus.

Illegal immigration, identity culture wars and social media censorship also remain front and centre of his political agenda. He has vowed to end birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants on his first day in office and said he will push to institute the death penalty for human traffickers carrying people across the border.

What about the indictments? Mr Trump’s mounting legal woes do not appear to have worried prospective voters as he leads competitors by a sizeable margin in the polls. He has been indicted four times and faces 91 criminal charges.

Even if he is convicted and sentenced, the Republic frontrunner has pledged to continue his presidential campaign and take office.

Still, there are pitfalls ahead. Mr Trump could have to reduce his time on the campaign trail to appear in court and perhaps to channel funds away from costly rallies and towards his legal battles.

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Nikki Haley

Former US Ambassador

Nikki HaleyNikki Haley

Nikki Haley

When did she declare? Nikki Haley became the first major candidate to formally challenge Mr Trump for the Republican nomination in February 2023, despite previously ruling it out.

Where is she polling? Ms Haley, a former UN ambassador and governor of South Carolina has found momentum in the polls, but still lags far behind Mr Trump’s commanding lead.

What are her flagship policies? Ms Haley is the biggest foreign policy hawk in the race, and has been vocal in her criticism of China, Russia and Iran.

She served as a respected member of Mr Trump’s cabinet, known for her defence of his America First policy on the world stage.

However, there is little appetite for Ms Haley’s brand of foreign policy in among the war-weary Republican base of the post-Trump era.

What about Trump? Ms Haley has flip-flopped on her support for Mr Trump over the years, most recently calling for a new generation of leadership.

During the third Republican debate, she said: “Everybody wants to talk about President Trump. I can tell you that I think he was the right president at the right time. I don’t think he’s the right president now.”

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Ryan Binkley

Pastor & businessman

Francis SuarezFrancis Suarez

Francis Suarez

When did he declare? Ryan Binkley announced his bid in April 2023, saying: “I believe in God, I believe in America, I believe in liberty and I believe in you. And I’m asking you today to believe in me”.

Where is he polling? Binkley, the CEO of Texas-based Generational Group and the lead pastor and co-founder of Create Church, has not gained enough support to register on most major polls.

What are his flagship policies? He has presented himself as a “unifying” candidate. He has made his Christian faith at the bedrock of his campaign, saying the problems facing the country “can all be rectified if we look to God”. His key policy proposals include immigration reform and balancing the federal budget in seven years.

What about Trump? The former president has largely ignored Mr Binkley’s longshot bid, and Mr Binkley has likewise skirted discussion of the frontrunner in the race.

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Joe Biden

Incumbent US President

Joe BidenJoe Biden

Joe Biden

When did he declare? The  46th president announced in April 2023 that he would be running for re-election and that he would be keeping his current vice president, Kamala Harris, as his running mate.

Mr Biden is the oldest president in history, and would be 86 at the end of a second term.

Where is he polling? As the incumbent , he is virtually assured the Democratic nomination. He is polling at 63.4 per cent among his party’s voters.

What are his flagship policies? Mr Biden says he is battling “for the soul of America” and signalled his campaign would seek to block illiberal moves by “Maga extremists”.

In a recent campaign video, he highlighted the issue of abortion, claiming that state politicians were “dictating what health care decisions women can make”. He has previously pledged to veto any national abortion ban.

The US Supreme Court overturned abortion rights last year, and Republican strategists fear the reinvigorated issue will drive Democratic turnout at the polls.

Mr Biden has also touted his leadership on the economy, which has focused on bolstering the middle class. His approach, he says, means “the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do well”.

However, while the US economy has confounded analysts’ expectations and proved much more resilient than many others, many Americans still say they are not feeling the benefits.

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Marianne Williamson

Author & motivational speaker

Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson

When did she declare? Self-help author Marianne Williamson was the first Democrat to challenge Mr Biden in March 2023.

Where is she polling? She is a very distant second to Mr Biden in FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregator but has hit double-digits in some polls.

What are her flagship policies? Ms Williamson hit out at “elites” who do not understand “ordinary Americans”.

She is anti-corporate, pro-universal healthcare coverage and pro-choice. She is also backing a full scale climate emergency mobilisation effort to tackle global warming.

She has accused Mr Biden of “spitting in the face of democracy” by attempting to shift the South Carolina vote to the start of the primary season. The southeastern state rescued his flagging candidacy in 2020.

She has never held elected office, having run unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014, before taking a tilt at the Democratic nomination in 2020.

Ms Williamson eventually dropped out of the race a few weeks before the Iowa caucus took place, endorsing the left-wing senator Bernie Sanders.

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Dean Phillips

Minnesota Congressman

Dean PhillipsDean Phillips

Dean Phillips

When did he declare? Dean Phillips, a three-term House Democrat, announced a long-shot campaign for the party nomination in late October 2023.

The 55-year-old said Mr Biden “has done a spectacular job for our country… But it’s not about the past. This is an election about the future.”

Mr Phillips is unlikely to affect Mr Biden’s chance of securing the party’s nomination, but his attacks on Biden’s age could severely wound the president going into the general election by pushing swing voters toward Mr Trump.

Mr Phillips has already missed the deadline to appear on one key early state – Nevada – and will have to follow his New Hampshire performance with a race against Mr Biden in South Carolina, a state with a large Black voter population that set the president on the path to victory in 2020.

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Jill Stein

Physician & activist

Francis SuarezFrancis Suarez

Francis Suarez

When did she declare? Jill Stein added to the growing number of third party candidates in the race when she threw her hat into the ring in November 2023. This is the 73-year-old’s third time seeking the Green Party nomination.

What are her flagship policies?  As you would expect, combating climate change is a major issue for Ms Stein. The doctor and activist has also called for an “economic bill of rights” to safeguard employment rights, healthcare, housing, food and education. She has championed progressive social issues including protecting reproductive and transgender rights.

Her late entry into the race came after she accused Democrats of betraying “working people”, the climate and the country’s youth.

While she is mounting a longshot bid, her candidacy might cause some unease among Democrats. When she ran in 2016, she received around 1.4 million votes and was blamed by the party for pulling support from Hillary Clinton in critical states and effectively handing Mr Trump his victory.

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Robert F Kennedy Jr

Lawyer & anti-vaccine activist

RFK JrRFK Jr

RFK Jr

When did he declare? Robert F Kennedy Jr is a lawyer, author and prominent conspiracy theorist who announced his bid to run as an independent in October 2023.

As the son of Robert F Kennedy and nephew of John F Kennedy, he comes from one of America’s most famous political dynasties. Despite that Democratic lineage, Mr Kennedy has never held elected office.

Where is he polling? The 70-year-old originally ran for the Democratic nomination, before announcing in October he would run as a third-party candidate instead after an early slump in the polls.

What are his flagship policies? Mr Kennedy is perhaps best known for his vocal scepticism about vaccines but previously held a reputation as a staunch environmentalist lawyer.

He has previously been suspended from social media for promoting conspiracy theories, and provoked outrage for suggesting Covid-19 was “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. Mr Kennedy later said: “I haven’t said an anti-Semitic word in my life.”

In his pitch for the presidency, he takes aim at a “corrupt merger between state and corporate power” that has “poisoned our children” and “polluted our landscapes and waters”.

Mr Kennedy has vocally opposed support for Kyiv, claiming the US was using Ukraine to fight a “proxy war” with Russia and that it had provoked the conflict through its “imperial expansion”.

He has also harkened back to the 1960s in his vision to restore middle-class prosperity.

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Cornel West

Philosopher, activist & author

Cornel WestCornel West

Cornel West

When did he declare? Cornel West, the progressive philosopher and Ivy League academic, announced a third party bid in June.

He initially made his bid for the small, leftist People’s Party, before switching to the Green Party and finally announcing in October he would run as an independent.

Where is he polling? Mr West’s campaign is too small to register in most national polling, but analysis by FiveThirtyEight suggests he could act as a “spoiler” candidate for Mr Biden by drawing progressive votes away from the Democrats.

What are his flagship policies? The 70-year-old academic launched his presidential bid with a vow to run “for truth and justice”, arguing he offers an appealing alternative to the two major parties’ leading candidates.

He has denounced Donald Trump as a “neo-fascist” and Mr Biden a “milquetoast neoliberal”.

A talented communicator, the philosophy professor has taught at Yale, Princeton and Harvard universities. He prides himself on being one of America’s “most provocative public intellectuals”.

After championing Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, he became disillusioned and labelled him a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface”.

He campaigned for Bernie Sanders in 2020, before begrudgingly backing Mr Biden, saying he was “better than fascism”.

But he has since called for an alternative to a Biden-Trump rematch, claiming “neither political party wants to tell the truth” about Wall Street, Ukraine, or Big Tech.

Candidates who have withdrawn their bid

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Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor

Ron DeSantisRon DeSantis

Ron DeSantis

When did he drop out? Florida governor Ron DeSantis quit the race on Sunday evening, capping a tumultuous few months of campaigning since his botched launch in May 2023 during a Twitter event hosted by Elon Musk and marred by technical glitches.

The self–proclaimed “anti-woke” governor was initially considered Mr Trump’s strongest rival. But he lagged ever further behind the former president in the polls the longer he stayed in the race. He withdrew before the New Hampshire primary, where he was polling at six per cent, saying he had no “clear path” to victory.

What are his flagship policies? Mr DeSantis gained popularity during the pandemic thanks to his anti-lockdown stance and his refusal to shy away from America’s culture wars.

He has an impressive record – a star baseball player at Yale, as well as a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former Navy officer – but it is his anti-establishment approach that has won him a following among the GOP base.

Mr DeSantis has courted conservatives with a six-week abortion ban in Florida and taken a hardline on children’s education with restrictions on classroom discussion of sexuality and gender identity.

Critics say his hardline policies have alienated moderates and argue he lacks the charisma and star power of Mr Trump.

What about Trump? The governor has been reluctant to make personal attacks against Mr Trump, wary of angering his large and influential base.

In recent months he sharpened his rhetoric against the former president, but ultimately endorsed him when he withdrew from the race in January.

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Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Governor

Asa HutchinsonAsa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson

When did he drop out? Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of the southern US state of Arkansas, announced his candidacy in April 2023, saying that Mr Trump should quit the race to deal with his legal challenges.

He struggled to cut through the noise, and withdrew after ranking sixth, and receiving less than a single percentage point, in the Iowa caucuses. “My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front runner did not sell in Iowa,” he said.

What were his flagship policies? Mr Hutchinson focused on issues including border security, the economy and US leadership.

“I want to provide an alternative”, the 72-year-old conservative, who is also a former member of Congress, said as he announced his bid.

Mr Hutchinson was Arkansas governor from 2015 to 2023. In 2021, he signed a law banning abortion in every case except to save the life of the mother.

What about Trump? Mr Hutchinson has called a potential second Trump term a threat to “our democracy, our rule of law”.  “America needs leadership with a spirit of grace,” he said.

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Vivek Ramaswamy

Health entrepreneur & venture capitalist

Vivek RamaswamyVivek Ramaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy

When did he drop out? Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, entered the race for the Republican nomination in Feb 2023 but pulled out hours after the results came out in Iowa, where he finished fourth.

The 38-year-old struggled to hit double digits in polls of the field. He saw a boost in popularity following the first Republican primary debate despite being branded an “amateur” and a “rookie” by other candidates, but now trails Mr Trump, Mr DeSantis and Ms Haley in the polls.

What were his flagship policies? Mr Ramaswamy said he wanted to create “not only a political campaign but a cultural movement” that would provide a conservative response to America’s culture wars.

Summarising his views during the debate he said: “God is real. There are two genders. Fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity. Reverse racism is racism. An open border is not a border. Parents determine the education of their children. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to man. Capitalism lifts us up from poverty.”

Mr Ramaswamy acknowledged his campaign was a long-shot in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, but said idea-driven outsiders could invigorate the country’s political discourse and “create a new American Dream”.

He has previously featured on Forbes’ list of richest entrepreneurs under 40, with a reported net worth of $500 million (£392m).

What about Trump? Mr Ramaswamy is Mr Trump’s strongest defender in the race and pledged that if elected, he would pardon Mr Trump over the dozens of charges he faces.

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Chris Christie

Former New Jersey Governor

Chris ChristieChris Christie

Chris Christie

When did he drop out? Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared in June 2023 but pulled out days before the Iowa caucuses in January after failing to cut through in the polls.

Mr Christie, 61, had been under intense pressure to bow out of the race to give Mr Trump’s rivals a chance to unite behind a viable alternative to the former president. His departure will likely give Ms Haley an extra boost in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday.

What were his flagship policies? He has long remained vocal in his belief in the need for social security means testing.

The 61-year-old, who ran for president in 2016, crashed out in the early stages of the primary but was seen to have wrecked Florida senator Marco Rubio’s chances as he mocked him as a robotic, Washington politician.

This time around, he turned his ire on Mr Trump, despite once being a member of his inner circle, firing an onslaught of criticism his way over his indictment cases.

What about Trump? Mr Christie positioned himself as the most vociferously anti-Trump candidate. Despite previously being a close adviser to the former president, he broke with Mr Trump over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election.

He has previously called him a “coward”, “Putin’s puppet”, and a “lonely, self-consumed, self-serving mirror hog”.

He recently said in a podcast interview: “I’m not dumb. The way to win is to beat the guy who’s ahead. And so what would a campaign look like? A campaign would look like a direct frontal challenge to Donald Trump trying to return to the presidency.”

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Doug Burgum

North Dakota Governor

Doug BurgumDoug Burgum

Doug Burgum

When did he drop out? Doug Burgum, the Republican governor of North Dakota, dropped out of the race in early December after failing to qualify for the last GOP debate in Alabama.

What were his flagship policies? The chimney sweep-turned-software billionaire launched an unlikely bid, focused on bread and butter issues.

Mr Burgum, 67, painted himself as the candidate of “small-town America” and its values, declaring that in his state, “woke” is “what you did at 5am to start the day”.

In June, he said that while he backed a strict abortion ban in his own state, he would not support a similar, nationwide law if he is elected to the White House.

What about Trump? He has largely steered clear of confronting Mr Trump, but acknowledged that Mr Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

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Tim Scott

US Senator for South Carolina

Tim ScottTim Scott

Tim Scott

When did he drop out? Tim Scott, a senator for South Carolina, suspended his presidential campaign on November 12 after launching his 2024 bid in May. He struggled in the polls, gaining the support of just two per cent of GOP voters.

What were his flagship policies? The 58-year-old invoked his Christian faith and championed religious liberties, tough action on border security and fiscal responsibility – all red meat for the conservative base.

He rose from a poverty-stricken childhood in South Carolina to become the only black Republican currently in the US Senate.

What about Trump? He has a strong conservative record, but has been willing to criticise the former president on occasion.

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Mike Pence

Former Vice President

Mike PenceMike Pence

Mike Pence

When did he drop out? Mike Pence, the former US vice president, launched his campaign for the Republican nomination in June but dropped out in October after failing to make inroads with Republican voters.

What were his flagship policies? He represents a more traditionally conservative faction of the GOP, in contrast to the campaigns of Mr Trump and Mr DeSantis, and his policies reflected that.

The former vice president served for more than a decade in Congress and as Indiana’s governor before he was tapped as Mr Trump’s running mate in 2016.

He was one of few candidates to have unequivocally backed a national abortion ban. He also said the US should offer more support to Ukraine against Russian aggression, while admonishing “Putin apologists” in the GOP.

What about Trump? Mr Pence irreparably ruptured his relationship with Mr Trump by refuting his request to overturn the 2020 election result on Jan 6. In reality, as vice president, Mr Pence did not have the power to change the results.

Mr Pence has since become a key figure in his boss’ indictment for efforts to overturn the election.

Mr Pence was heckled by Trump supporters at the Iowa State fair.

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Larry Elder

Political commentator

Larry ElderLarry Elder

Larry Elder

When did he drop out? Larry Elder, a Republican radio host who had never held elected office, dropped out of the race in late October and endorsed Mr Trump.

What were his flagship policies? Mr Elder’s platform included capping spending at 10 per cent of US gross domestic product nationwide, regulating abortion laws at the state level and other conservative positions.

He earned a living as a lawyer before becoming a talk show host, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.

What about Trump? Mr Elder previously said he was “not sure” Mr Trump is electable, especially to suburban women, but endorsed him when he quit the race.

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Perry Johnson

Entrepreneur & author

Perry JohnsonPerry Johnson

Perry Johnson

When did he drop out? Perry Johnson, a Republican businessman, dropped out of the race in late October after failing to register in the majority of polls.

“With no opportunity to share my vision on the debate stage, I have decided at this time suspending my campaign is the right thing to do,” Mr Johnson said in a statement.

What were his flagship policies? The millionaire had been touting his plan to cut federal spending by 2 per cent every year during his campaign.

He ran for Michigan governor in 2022 and was considered a top candidate in the race, before he and four other Republican hopefuls were disqualified because of invalid signatures.

What about Trump? Mr Johnson said he “proudly supported President Trump in 2016 and 2020 and could very easily support him in 2024”.

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Will Hurd

Former CIA spy & former Texas Congressman

Will HurdWill Hurd

Will Hurd

When did he drop out? Will Hurd, a former CIA spy and former Texas congressman, suspended his presidential bid in early October and endorsed fellow GOP primary candidate Nikki Haley.

“While I appreciate all the time and energy our supporters have given, it is important to recognise the realities of the political landscape and the need to consolidate our party around one person to defeat both Donald Trump and President Biden,” Mr Hurd said.

What were his flagship policies? Mr Hurd, 46, signposted his concerns on illegal immigration and inflation in his campaign announcement video.

He has called himself a “dark horse candidate” and said that the only way to win is to “not be afraid of Donald Trump”. He is hoping to build momentum as a more moderate alternative to the former president.

The one-time CIA agent called the Republican frontrunner a “failed politician” who lost the GOP “the House, the Senate, and the White House”.

He has attacked the GOP’s struggle to attract college-educated, middle-class women, Black and brown communities and people under the age of 35.

What about Trump? He is a vocal critic of the former president’s track record, calling him a “proven loser”.

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Francis Suarez

Miami Mayor

Francis SuarezFrancis Suarez

Francis Suarez

When did he drop out? Francis Suarez became the first candidate to withdraw from the Republican race on August 29 after announcing a bid just a day after Mr Trump appeared in court on federal charges in June.

What were his flagship policies? The 45-year-old is the president of the US Conference of Mayors and is the son of Miami’s first Cuban-born mayor.

Mr Suarez has gained national attention in recent years for his efforts to turn Miami into an economic powerhouse and become the next Silicon Valley.

Mr Suarez, who is married with two young children, is a corporate and real estate attorney who previously served as a city of Miami commissioner. He has positioned himself as someone who can help the GOP connect with the Hispanic community.

What about Trump? Trump advisers previously praised Mr Suarez’s work and helped him promote what he calls “the Miami success story”.

Kellyanne Conway, Mr Trump’s former campaign manager and White House adviser, even floated Mr Suarez’s name as a possible vice presidential pick.

This article is kept up to date with the latest information. Polling taken from FiveThirtyEight.

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