President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump — the same candidates who secured the Democratic Party and Republican Party nominations in 2020, are polling higher than the rest for the 2024 presidency. Including Biden and Trump, there are currently 17 candidates vying for the presidency — 13 Republicans, three democrats, and one third-party candidate. 

“Despite awaiting trial on 91 felony counts, Trump is a coin flip away from the presidency,” wrote Dan Pfeiffer, former adviser to President Obama, in his newsletter “The Message Box.”

An Aug. 23 poll by the Wall Street Journal favors Donald Trump at 40% and Joe Biden at 39% of the popular vote. 

Meanwhile, a CBS poll from Sept. 12 finds Trump leading Biden by 1% — Biden at 49% and Trump at 50%. Voters who are “leaning towards/definitely voting” for Biden are more likely to participate in the 2024 election to “oppose Donald Trump” than “support Joe Biden” at a respective 51% and 49%. On the other hand, 61% of people who lean towards Trump are voting to support him, whereas only 39% are voting to oppose Joe Biden.

According to FiveThirtyEight, here’s how the 13 Republican candidates are currently polling as of Sept. 15. 95% of polls are projected to fall in this range:

G.O.P. Candidates

Donald Trump (former president and businessman) – 55.5% 

Ron DeSantis (governor of Florida) – 14.2%

Vivek Ramaswamy (entrepreneur and author) – 7.6%

Nikki Haley (former governor of South Carolina and current U.N. ambassador) – 6.1%

Mike Pence (former vice president and former governor of Indiana  ) – 4.7%

Chris Christie (former governor of New Jersey) – 3.1%

Tim Scott (senator from South Carolina) – 2.6%

Asa Hutchinson, Doug Burgam, Will Hurd, Perry Johnson, Larry Elder, and Ryan Binkley are all polling at less than 1%.

Democratic Candidates

Since Joe Biden, the incumbent, has not agreed to a primary debate, below are brief highlights from the Democratic candidates’ careers as well as their campaign goals, as outlined in their official websites. 

Biden is running for re-election after winning the presidency in 2020. During his current term, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, offering families that fall under a lower to middle income range $1,400 to help cover necessities, such as rent and groceries. Biden also signed the Respect For Marriage Act into law, making it the “biggest legislative win in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality in over a decade,” according to the Human Rights Campaign. 

Robert Kennedy Jr. began his career as an environmental lawyer for the nonprofit organization RiverKeeper, advocating for clean water and maintaining compliance with the Clean Water Act. He has also won cases against large corporations, such as ExxonMobil, demanding the company clean spilled oil in Brooklyn. In December 2022, Kennedy won $289 million in damages for his client from Monsanto, a pesticide company, finding it liable for its herbicide causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and a vocal anti-vaccine activist.  

Marianne Williamson is a self-help author who has written 15 books — four of them reached the #1 New York Times bestsellers. She is also the founder of Project Angel Food, a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers meals to those in need. This organization stems back to the AIDS crisis, aiding anyone with life-threatening illness. Williamson was the former spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey. This is her second time running for president.

Independent Candidates

Cornel West is a philosophy professor and progressive activist seeking nomination from the Green Party.