The 2024 GOP presidential nomination is effectively a race between 2 candidates: Donald Trump, the front-runner, and Ron DeSantis, the underdog, and barring any major updates, this will stay the same. In fact, there are so many candidates, that listing them out in bullets would be a better idea.
- Doug Burgum, North Dakota Governor
- Chris Christie, Former New Jersey Governor, and 2016 Presidential Candidate
- Larry Elder, Talk Show host, and 2021 candidate for California governor
- Nikki Haley, Former South Carolina Governor/UN Ambassador under Trump
- Asa Hutchinson, Former Arkansas Governor
- Mike Pence, VP under Trump
- Vivek Ramaswamy, Entrapreanur
- Tim Scott, South Carolina Senator
These are the candidates for the Republican nomination with little to no chance. And the interesting part is, all of these people know they have no chance of winning. So then why are they? Well, the answer for many of them is the simple question, “why not?” See, Burgum, Haley, Hutchinson, and Pence are all well known politicians reaching the end of their careers, and are looking to stay relevant, or find future opportunities. It is possible that these people believe they can convert an unsuccessful presidential bid into a job as a pundit on a news network. The same goes for Larry Elder, despite never holding elected office.
On the other hand, Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy are running a long shot bid for the presidency for a different reason. And this reason is because they are both young, rising stars in the GOP who want to create a brand and introduce themselves to mainstream conservative audiences. It is possible that Tim Scott can use a newfound audience from his bid to either run for President in the future, or get important committee assignments in the Senate. On the other hand, Ramaswamy might be looking to join inner conservative donor circles, or run for a lower office himself.
And finally, this brings us to Chris Christie. The reason Christie is different from the others is that one, he is already well known to lots of people, and can easily get a pundit job, as he has in the past, and two, because he has already faced Trump. Christie is the only one who is directly standing up to Trump, and is well known as a fierce and strong debater (look up “Chris Christie Marco Rubio debate” online). I think he might just be running to weaken Trumps image.
To sum everything up, there are multiple reasons to run for president other than winning, like fame, other offices, or stopping someone else from winning. But in the end, this race is between Trump and DeSantis, and will likely continue this way.