DeSantis to kick off 'Make America Florida' presidential campaign. These are his opponents

Brandon Girod
Pensacola News Journal

Now that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially thrown his hat into the presidential race, the stage has been set for the 2024 presidential primary races, with 10 candidates having already filed, seven of which are Republicans.

President Joe Biden started his reelection bid in April, but he's being challenged by Democratic candidates Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Despite stiffer competition on the Republican side, former President Donald Trump remains far and away the frontrunner against the likes of Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson, Larry Elder and Tim Scott.

How to watch DeSantis announcement:Elon Musk to host DeSantis on Twitter Spaces. How to listen on iPhone, tablets, desktop PC

Live updates:Gov. DeSantis to announce presidential run on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk

It's official:DeSantis files to run for president in 2024

Musk will join announcement:DeSantis will kick off presidential bid with Elon Musk on Twitter

Here's a deeper look at each of the candidates.

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden attends a bilateral meeting with Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as part of the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 20, 2023. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_33FM3MN.jpg
  • Party: Democrat
  • Age: 82 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe Biden has held public office for more than 50 years. He served as vice president under former President Barack Obama from 20018 to 2016 and was elected president in 2020. If re-elected, Joe Biden will be 82 years old on the Inauguration Day of his second term, and the oldest person to ever hold the presidency, which has been a concern for some.
  • Views: In his re-election announcement, Biden said he began his first term in a “battle for the soul of America.” Now he says he wants to “finish the job” he started. In his announcement video, he touted record-breaking job growth, providing infrastructure funding and more. He also warned that “MAGA extremists” were targeting bedrock freedoms by cutting social security, cutting taxes for the wealthy, dictating what health care decisions women can make, banning books and making it more difficult to vote.

Biden announces re-election:'Let's finish the job': President Joe Biden announces much awaited 2024 reelection bid

Biden officially launched his 2024 reelection bid in April, telling Americans "let's finish this job."

"This is not a time to be complacent," Biden said in the three-minute video. "That's why I'm running for reelection. Because I know America. I know we're good and decent people. I know we're still a country that believes in honesty and respect and treating each other with dignity."

Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight says that Joe Biden has a 42.3% approval rating among Americans on average. About 78% of Democrats say they approve of Biden but less than half think he should run again in 2024, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Overall, just 26% of Americans want him to run.

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis listens to Senate President Kathleen Passidomo speaks during a press conference in the cabinet room at the closet of the 2023 Florida legislative session Friday, May 5, 2023.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 47 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: DeSantis emerged from the pandemic as one of the Republican Party's top figures and most promising presidential prospects, putting him on a collision course with former President Donald Trump, who began attacking him months ago.
  • Views: DeSantis put Florida in the center of a national culture war as he passed a litany of bills that ban abortions after six weeks, place heavy restrictions on gender-affirming care, outright banning gender-affirming care for minors, barring government funding for DEI programs in Florida state universities, expanding private school vouchers and more.

DeSantis running for president:DeSantis is running for president, but first, as Florida governor, he has to give himself permission

DeSantis is set to make his official presidential campaign announcement at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the help of Elon Musk on Twitter. The announcement will follow a mountain of legislative victories in Florida’s 2023 session that he will likely use to bolster the launch of his campaign.

DeSantis would enter the presidential race weakened by Trump’s constant attacks and polling well below his peak after a dominant re-election win last year, but still with considerable goodwill among Republicans, a huge amount of campaign cash and much less baggage than the twice-impeached Trump, who is facing 34 criminal charges.

Larry Elder

2024 Presidential Candidate Larry Elder speaks to the crowd at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual Spring Kick-Off, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Clive, Iowa.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 72 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Larry Elder is a conservative talk radio host who gained national popularity after he became the candidate Republicans hoped would unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the 2021 recall election.
  • Views: Elder wants to take a tougher stance against crime, supports parents to have the freedom to choose the schools they believe meet their child’s educational needs regardless of zip code or income, stands against critical race theory and DEI programs, wants to strengthen America’s role as the “sole” superpower standing against China and secure the southern border.

Elder made his presidential announcement on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News in April. Elder told Carlson that he had a “moral, religious and a patriotic duty to give back to a country that’s been good to my family and me.”

Elder believes that America’s on a downward trajectory, claiming that Democratic rule in California has turned the state into an “unaffordable dystopia.” He hopes to lead American toward a new golden age.

Nikki Haley

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley gestures while addressing a breakfast gathering at Saint Anselm College, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Manchester, N.H.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 53 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Nikki Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and was born in Bamberg, South Carolina. She was elected as South Carolina’s first female governor and the youngest governor in 2010 and was decisively re-elected for a second term in 2014 before Trump appointed her as a U.S. Ambassador in 2016. She helped the state’s unemployment rate hit a 15-year low, oversaw $20 billion in new capital investment and created jobs in every county in the state.
  • Views: Haley is anti-abortion and pro-Israel. She supports cracking down on illegal immigration and "getting tough" on China and Russia. She has supported Trump in the past but also criticized him after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

Nikki Haley announces presidential bid:Nikki Haley announces 2024 presidential bid in first major GOP challenge to Donald Trump

Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley was the second prominent Republican to enter the 2024 presidential race after Trump, calling for a “new generation” of leaders.

The 51-year-old candidate has touted her youth compared to other prominent figures in politics, making “mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old” a hallmark of her campaign.

Asa Hutchinson

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at the Vision ’24 National Conservative Forum March 18, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 74 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Raised in Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson credited growing up on a farm in Gravette where he learned the importance of family, faith and community as what shaped his political foundation, and said the nation’s divide over the Vietnam War and struggle for civil rights raised his political awareness. Hutchinson is a former Arkansas governor and has worked in Congress, the DEA and Homeland Security.
  • Views: He supports lower taxes, a strong national defense and opposes abortion. He has said the Biden administration "stood on the sidelines" in the face of crime and “turned its back on the American worker.”

Asa Hutchinson's presidential run:2024 candidate Asa Hutchinson would sign a national abortion ban: What other GOP hopefuls have said

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, launched his presidential campaign in April, emphasizing his heartland upbringing in a hometown speech.

"This campaign is about courage. It is about making the tough decisions... and we've got our work cut out for us," he said.

Hutchinson has been one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in the GOP field since entering the race. A former federal prosecutor, the 72-year-old candidate urged Trump to exit the 2024 contest before he was formally charged in a New York hush-money case.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a campaign rally in Urbandale, Thursday, May 11, 2023.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 39 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: The son of Indian immigrants, Ramaswamy grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Evendale. He attended Harvard to study biology and graduated Yale Law School the same year as U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, another southwest Ohio native.
  • Views: He has peddled ideas such as ending affirmative action and eliminating the Department of Education. His elevator pitch: He'll go farther than Trump ever did or could today.

Who is Vivek Ramaswamy?Ohio native Vivek Ramaswamy is trying to out-Trump Trump in the 2024 presidential race

Vivek Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotech entrepreneur and “anti-woke” activist, entered the 2024 presidential race in February.

The 37-year-old candidate launched his longshot bid by decrying what he called a “national identity crisis,” driven by a left-wing ideology that has replaced “faith, patriotism and hard work” with “new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism and gender ideology."

Author of the book “Woke, Inc.,” Ramaswamy centers much of his messaging around dismantling bureaucracies, whether in corporate America or Washington, D.C.

Tim Scott

May 22, 2023: U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) announces his run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at a campaign event in North Charleston, South Carolina. Scott, the ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, joins 5 other Republicans currently running in the 2024 Presidential race.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 59 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Scott grew up in North Charleston, South Carolina in a “poor, single-parent household,” according to his website.
  • Views: Scott joined the Senate in 2013. He’s anti-abortion and pro-Second Amendment. He says on his website that his “signature legislation,” Opportunity Zones, put $75 billion into “distressed communities” across the country.

Tim Scott announces presidential run:Tim Scott running for president in 2024: How will he challenge Donald Trump?

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott officially entered the presidential race Friday when he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. He is expected to make his announcement speech Monday.

"American families are starving for hope," Scott tweeted Thursday. "We need to have faith. Faith in God, faith in each other, and faith in America."

The lone Black Republican in the Senate, Scott is vying to be the first African-American to win the GOP nomination.

Donald J. Trump

President Donald J. Trump's Keep America Great Rally in Bossier City, Louisiana Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.
  • Party: Republican
  • Age: 78 years old on Inauguration Day
  • Background: Trump was elected president in 2016, but lost his reelection bid in 2020. He falsely claimed – and still claims – he won the election. He is the only president to be impeached twice by Congress. Before entering politics, he ran his father’s real estate company, renaming it the Trump Organization. He was born in Queens, New York.
  • Views: The former president has centered much of his campaign on his purported “political persecution” by Democrats. He supports securing America’s borders, “reclaiming free speech,” and “dismantling the Deep State,” according to his campaign website. He has said he would consider pardoning participants in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, which was inspired by his false claims of election fraud.

Trump running for president again:Donald Trump announces his 2024 presidential campaign as GOP debates future: recap

Former President Donald Trump announced in November that he would seek the presidency again in 2024 amid a flurry of legal inquiries and skepticism from other Republicans over whether he’s the right candidate for the job.

"America's comeback starts right now," Trump said during his speech at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Contributors: Ella Lee -- USA Today