By Ben Gallanter
American voters, attentively observing political news in their homes across the nation, are becoming curious about what the 2024 United States presidential election will entail. Although the 2024 presidential election process may still be a while away, the presidential candidates and political issues for the next election cycle are already beginning to emerge.
According to The Hill, the central issues and subsequent potential policies that will be considered will include social security and Medicare, education, abortion, foreign policy, immigration, LGBTQ-related issues and crime.
The policies that may become prioritized is considered to be a crucial aspect of how the 2024 election will likely be determined. According to Pew Research Center, 75% of American adults in a survey of over 5,000 people conducted in January view strengthening the economy as a top priority for the U.S. president to solve. Other top issues of the survey included reducing health care costs and defending against terrorism.
The difference between issues that are prioritized by different types of voters also remains a significant topic within the election process.
“I think just like in 2020 and other previous elections, there will be a divide between younger and older voters,” said J.P. Egan, a junior political science major. “Younger voters tend to prioritize social issues like racial and gender issues, while older voters will always prioritize the economy and how they think the current administration is responding to issues they see as important.”
The list of 2024 presidential candidates is also starting to take its shape, although it remains relatively early in the candidacy and eventual campaign process. According to ABC News, the current list of individuals who have announced their presidential candidacy as members of the Republican Party includes Former President Donald Trump, former Cranston, Rhode Island mayor Steve Laffey, Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, businessman Perry Johnson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
According to CNN, potential Republican candidates who may declare their candidacy in the future for the 2024 election could include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
Author and political activist Marianne Williamson has also announced her candidacy as a Democrat. Although current President Joe Biden has indicated on multiple occasions that he intends to run for re-election in 2024, he has yet to formally announce his candidacy. However, considering Biden’s status as the current president from the Democratic Party and his possible re-election campaign, the candidates for the Republican Party that could potentially challenge Biden are being more notably monitored.
According to Dr. Daniel Bowen, a professor of political science, the 2024 election process for the Democrats will be highly influenced by the decision of whether Biden will run for a second term. Bowen added that elements of Biden’s presidency, including his approval rating, the state of the economy and early poll results before the election, will likely determine his decision.
“Other than Biden for Democrats, Vice President Harris and Secretary Buttigieg strike me as the most likely nominees,” Bowen said. “On the GOP side, Trump and Gov. DeSantis are the early favorites... DeSantis, Haley, Pence and others have to distance themselves from Trump while respecting that most GOP voters probably like Trump better than them, at least at the start of the campaign.”
It is difficult at this point in the 2024 election process to know who will likely challenge Trump within the Republican Party.
“The Republican National Committee will have an influential role in backing one or more candidates in 2024 and charting a course for the party, but I'm not sure who that will be,” said Dr. Cadence Willse, a political science professor.
Ultimately, some American voters are wondering how the 2024 presidential election could be different compared to the previous 2020 election and other past elections.
According to Bowen, the 2024 election is occurring after supposed institutional failures of the previous elections in 2016 and 2020, resulting in two key differences that will occur during the 2024 election.
“Congress has passed a revision to the Electoral Count Act, which has clarified that the vice president has only a ceremonial role in counting electoral college votes and makes it more difficult for members of Congress to challenge a state's slate of electors,” Bowen said. “The second change is in the primary calendar, with Democrats demoting Iowa and New Hampshire from their prized, first-in-the-nation nomination statuses. Democrats hope that by moving South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan to early contest dates, the democratic process will be more representative of Democratic voters.”
Although 2024 presidential election developments are in its early stages, it is already shaping up to be a process for voters to keep an eye on. The potential political involvement of new, young voters could make it an increasingly captivating 2024 election.
“I feel like younger voters today are more active than previous generations in politics, and they’ll get more riled up and passionate if they feel like they are on-board with a specific candidate,” Egan said. “I think it could be a really interesting upcoming election because of that.”