Everything you need to know about the 2024 Presidential Candidates

It’s election year, and the 2024 presidential candidates have been locked in. Although most readers will recognize that Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D) are up for a 2020 rematch later this year, many are unfamiliar with the candidates’ platforms and other lesser-known challengers on the ballot.

With misinformation abounding and most of Gen Z getting their information on politics off of social media, it is imperative that voters are aware of what they are actually voting for. So, who are the 2024 presidential candidates, and why do they deserve your vote?

Donald Trump (R)

Mr. Trump is seeking his second term as president this November. Once a political outsider, he has become a familiar face in U.S. politics. Although Trump cruised easily to securing the party nomination earlier this year, he doesn’t have the same support of the Republican party as he once did. 

Trump is making immigration a focal point of his platform, running on proposed “record-breaking” deportation and crackdown on immigration and the border. He also holds pro-life abortion stances, wishes to expand executive power, and put into place “America first” economic policies like a proposed 10% tax on all goods coming from outside the U.S. to incentivize domestic production. He has also made law and order stances on crime a priority, including possible military deployment to cities (which he calls “crime dens”) among other things (NBC).

Critics across the aisle say that his economic policies could harm average Americans who depend on imported products. Trump’s maintained opinion that the 2020 election was stolen from him and the January 6 insurrection have, at times, alienated more moderate voters and, critics say, allowed hate groups and fringe far-Right groups such as the Proud Boys to operate more outspokenly. 

Joe Biden (D)

Mr. Biden is up for reelection this election cycle. According to Gallup News, Biden is teetering around a 38% approval rate, just one point away from his lowest ever and far from the 50% approval rate that is typically needed to reelect a sitting president. Issues like immigration, inflation, and the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine have progressives and conservatives alike turning their back on Biden. Still, Gallup News finds that 82% of Democrats approve of Biden. 

USA Today lays out Biden’s platform as expanding gun reform, protecting access to abortion, U.S. support for Israel and Ukraine in their conflicts abroad, expanding Obamacare, capping insulin prices, forgiving student loan debt, and “Bidenomics,” which takes a keynesian approach to the economy by trying to stimulate the post-pandemic economy with federal aid. Critics have blamed these economic policies for rising inflation.

Biden’s campaign has framed the election as democracy vs. autocracy, calling it a “battle for the soul of America,” a similar approach used by him in 2020. 

Cornel West (I)

Cornel West is running independently this November. The philosopher, Christian theologian and activist is running on what his campaign website calls a platform for truth, justice and love. This includes extensive policies such as an increased federal minimum wage, a billionaire tax, breaking up monopolies, establishing a worker bill of rights, universal pre-K childcare, nationalizing the fossil fuel industry, nationalizing the healthcare industry, disbanding NATO and making Election Day a national holiday, among other things.

West was the first Black person to receive a P.h.D in philosophy from Princeton and has written 20 books on race, politics and theology. West maintains that both parties have been corrupted by power and money, describing what he calls “moral bankruptcy”  and that the people of America crave a radical change.

West has criticized President Biden as a “war criminal” for his policies supporting Israel in their bloody retaliation of Hamas, which has killed over 29,000 Palestinian civilians, according to PBS.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of JFK is also running for president independently. An environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine advocate, he now turns his attention to politics. Capitalizing on widespread discontent with the two major parties’ candidates, RFK may have the most realistic third party campaign in recent history. 

His campaign website outlines his platform as populist working class policies such as raising the federal minimum wage, protecting unions and prosecuting union-busting corporations, ending funding for war and using the money to build infrastructure and pay for healthcare, and ending corruption in Washington from corporate interests. He also attempts to appeal to environmentalists by vowing to protect federal lands from private developers and transition to clean energy. Other policies span the political spectrum, such as attempting to drive down housing costs by changing zoning laws, abolishing interest on student loans and tightening border security.

RFK pits himself against Big Tech, Big Pharma, billionaires, corrupt politicians and Wall Street and portrays himself as a populist politician restoring honest government. Although RFK has only barely scratched double digits in some polls, Democrats and Republicans alike have railed against him for potentially drawing votes from both parties. RFK has also drawn widespread criticism for his misinformation about vaccines. 

Jill Stein (G)

Jill Stein is a doctor who became concerned about the links between exposure to toxicity and illness. She is an environmental advocate who has worked with nonprofits to raise health standards and clean up communities.

According to Stein’s campaign website, her platform revolves around her initiative to create an “Economic Bill of Rights” which includes the right to a living-wage job, housing, food, education and healthcare. As the representative of the Green party, Stein’s policies also advocate for a Green New Deal to address the climate crisis on a massive scale. Like the other third-party candidates, she highlights that Americans wish to get away from a broken two-party system that is inadequate to address contemporary problems.  

Sources: Cornel West, Gallup, Jill Stein, Kennedy, PBS, USA Today

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