US election race: Trump leads, Haley contests, Biden defends

US election race: Trump leads, Haley contests, Biden defends

Shafaq News/ The 2024 US presidential election is shaping up to be a fierce contest between three candidates who represent different visions for the future of the country.

On the Republican side, the former president Donald Trump is seeking to reclaim the White House after losing to Joe Biden in 2020, while his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is challenging him with a more moderate and pragmatic approach.

On the Democratic side, the incumbent president Joe Biden is hoping to secure a second term and build on his legacy of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and economic recovery.

Trump, the Republican candidate

Despite facing several lawsuits challenging his right to run for office after the violent storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and his claim of presidential immunity, the former US president Donald Trump, 77, managed to secure his nomination for the 2024 elections.

He is the most likely candidate with a support rate of 64%, according to Reuters opinion poll. By exploiting the civil and criminal problems he had in four cases, Trump was able to raise his approval among the Republicans and secure funds for his campaign.

Furthermore, Trump dominated the early primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and tried to install his close allies in the Republican National Committee leadership, ahead of the party’s national convention next July, where the official candidate will be selected.

Trump vowed to overhaul the federal government by appointing his loyal supporters to the civil service positions and enforcing tougher immigration policies, such as mass deportations and abolishing the citizenship by birth principle.

He also promised to repeal the health care law known as “Obamacare” and to impose “more trade restrictions on China,” and suggested that he would not support the NATO allies.

Haley, the Republican candidate

As a strong conservative who can credibly address gender and race issues, Nikki Haley has earned a good reputation in the Republican Party. Haley, who was the governor of South Carolina, emphasizes her youth, as she is 52 years old, much younger than Biden and Trump.

She was attacked by Trump “viciously,” making racist remarks about her Indian heritage, and spreading lies about her eligibility to be president, even though she was born in South Carolina.

Although, Haley, having 19% support among Republicans according to a Reuters poll, has fought back against Trump after the New Hampshire primaries on January 23, when Trump won the Republican primary with 54.3% of the votes, while Haley came in second with 43.2%.

Haley also managed to raise a million dollars in one day after Trump’s threats to her donors. She said that “this showed that there was a strong grassroots support for her candidacy and that she was not intimidated by Trump’s bullying.”

Haley portrays herself as a protector of American interests overseas, pointing out “Trump’s admiration for dictators and calling him chaotic and extremely divisive.”

She also opposes the changes that Trump wants to make to the Republican National Committee, saying that “the party needs to be reformed and its finances reviewed.”

Biden, the Democratic candidate

At 81 years old, Joe Biden is the oldest president in US history and the oldest candidate in the 2024 race. He faces the challenge of persuading the voters that he can handle another four-year term, especially after a report by his special adviser raised doubts about his memory loss.

Biden dismissed the report and said that “his allies believe he is the only Democrat who can beat Trump and safeguard democracy.”

Furthermore, Biden vowed to continue his agenda of tackling the climate change and economic recovery. He also pledged to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad, and to restore America’s global leadership and alliances.

Notably, the candidates usually aim for the backing of one of the various political parties in the US, through a sequence of primaries. The primaries are not simple elections, where the voters choose a list of party delegates who are loyal to a certain candidate.

The party delegates then officially nominate the candidate to run for the party in the general election. The presidential candidate then picks a companion for the vice presidency to form the party ticket, which is then confirmed by the delegates at the party convention.

The 2024 election will be the 60th quadrennial presidential election in the US. According to the second article of the US Constitution, a person must be a natural-born US citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the US for at least 14 years to be eligible for the presidency.

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