2024 is Around the Corner
By Manuel Wallick
The race is off! Just not the race you’re thinking of. As 2020 draws to a close, the 2024 presidential election has already begun, in fact, it started a few months ago. Rick Scott, junior senator and former governor of Florida, was the first potential candidate to make a move toward running, and it was a bit unusual: an anti-Biden ad in Iowa. Then there was his attempt to access donors by leading the National Republican Senate Committee in preparation for the 2022 midterms. While Scott may have made the most forthright moves, he is far from the leading contender.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is another figure looking to position himself for a run. Simultaneously raising his profile and creating a moderate image, Hogan is positioning himself to run for reelection in 2022 and President in 2024. Widely rumored as a potential primary challenger to the President this cycle, he eventually declined. This distancing and opposition will benefit the governor while running in deep-blue Maryland, and if President Trump does lose this year, then Hogan may be well-positioned as a prominent moderate to have his own lane in 2024. This could create similarities to Mitt Romney in 2012 or Joe Biden at the start of 2016. Yet this also poses challenges as he would still be running in a very Trump-like Republican Party no matter the result this year, and running away from the President would likely play poorly with the party base.
In a race that will be shaped by President Trump whether he wins this year or not, potential candidates are scrambling to get their name in front of the electorate, and most are trying to position themselves with the President. Many potential candidates are taking more traditional paths to achieve this, whether it be a coveted convention speaking slot, writing books, or in some cases, both. Since her departure, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has both written a book and spoken at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence has also positioned himself as the heir to President Trump. Other potential candidates that have gotten into the mix include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Governor Kristi Noem, Senators Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, Don Jr., and a great many more. While some have been more obvious than others, there is no doubt that 2024 will be a wide-open field and a clash of big names.
Manuel Wallick is a sophomore from Lexington, South Carolina, majoring in political science.