The Republican presidential candidates are all vying to take on President Joe Biden in November 2024. But first, they’re competing in the GOP primaries and caucuses, which begin in January, to emerge as the party’s nominee. The candidates are listed below in order of where they fall in CNN’s Poll of Polls, which is an average of the four most exact nonpartisan, national surveys of either potential or likely 2024 Republican primary voters that meet CNN’s standards. Candidates who don’t feature in CNN’s candidate Poll of Polls are listed alphabetically after those who do.
Former President Donald Trump launched his bid to reclaim the White House in November 2022, aiming to become only the second commander-in-chief to win two nonconsecutive terms.
Trump continues to deny the outcome of the 2020 election he lost to Joe Biden and promotes baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud. He was twice impeached by the US House of Representatives, including for his role in inciting the deadly January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol following his electoral defeat. As of August 2023, Trump faces 91 criminal charges across four separate cases against him, including over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election result and his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.
If he wins another term, Trump has said he would overhaul key factions of the federal government and slash social safety net programs. He has also vowed retribution against his political opponents and has said he would appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” Biden and his family.
Trump was born in New York City and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Before launching his successful 2016 presidential bid, Trump was a real estate developer and businessman and later a reality television star as host of “The Apprentice.” He has five children and is married to Melania Trump.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose penchant for cultural clashes led him to declare his state as the place where “woke goes to die,” launched a bid for president in May 2023. DeSantis has said he is running to “reverse the decline” in America and to offer a new generation of leadership for the country.
A hard-charging leader who has stretched the boundaries of executive power in his state, DeSantis rose to national prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic. He made Florida one of the first states to reopen schools, and took measures to prohibit lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine requirements.
Prior to the governor’s mansion, DeSantis represented a northeast Florida’s district in the US House from 2013 to 2018 and was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus. He was a vociferous defender of Trump as a congressman, but the two have since traded sharp attacks on each other on the campaign trail.
DeSantis grew up in Dunedin, Florida, and graduated from Yale University, where he was captain of the varsity baseball team before heading to Harvard Law School. He served as a JAG officer in the US Navy. DeSantis and his wife, Casey, have three children.
Tech entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy launched his outsider campaign for the presidency in February 2023, focused on combatting “woke” ideology, exposing government corruption and ushering in a younger generation of voters into the Republican Party.
Ramaswamy, 38, is the youngest candidate in the GOP field. He found success in the private sector after founding Roivant Sciences, a biotechnology firm, before founding Strive Asset Management, an investment management firm that specialized in “anti-woke” asset management, refusing to consider environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, factors when investing. He is the author of “Woke Inc.” and “Nation of Victims.”
Ramaswamy grew up in Cincinnati, the son of Indian immigrants. A practicing Hindu, he attended a Catholic high school in Cincinnati before graduating from Harvard University with a biology degree and earning a law degree from Yale University. His wife, Apoorva, is a physician specializing in otolaryngology, and they have two sons.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is running as a traditional conservative, seeking to manage the US debt, shrink the federal government, increase domestic energy production and maintain support for US allies abroad. He has been outspoken about his Christian faith and his opposition to abortion and gender-transition treatment for minors.
Pence launched his campaign for the GOP nomination in June 2023, offering an implicit criticism of primary rival and former boss Donald Trump, who he said “should never” be president again for his actions in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The two fell out after Pence rejected Trump’s entreaties for him to overturn the election result on January 6, 2021, in his capacity as vice president overseeing Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
A former talk radio host, Pence served six terms as a US congressman before being elected Indiana’s 50th governor in 2012. He left in 2017 when he became vice president. The Columbus, Indiana, native graduated from Hanover College and Indiana University School of Law. He and his wife, Karen, have three children.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley launched her presidential campaign in February 2023, calling for a new generation of leadership in the Republican Party. Her campaign has heavily focused on economic responsibility, national security and strengthening the southern border.
If successful in the primary, Haley would be the first woman and the first Asian American nominated by the GOP for president. She was first elected to the South Carolina House in 2004, and six years later, she became the first woman elected governor of the Palmetto State and the youngest governor in the nation when she took office in 2011. She resigned in the middle of her second term in 2017 to become US ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump, now a rival for the 2024 GOP nomination. She served in that role until the end of 2018.
Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Indian immigrants. She attended Clemson University, where she met her husband, Michael Haley. He served in Afghanistan as part of the South Carolina Army National Guard in 2013, making Haley the first governor in US history to have her spouse deployed. He is currently deployed overseas for a yearlong mission. The Haleys have two children.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, entered the presidential race in May 2023, touting himself as a principled conservative with a distinctively hopeful and optimistic message.
Scott began his political career with his election to the Charleston City Council in 1994. He later served a term in the South Carolina House before being elected to the US House in 2010. In 2013, then-Gov. Nikki Haley, now a rival for the GOP presidential nomination, appointed him to fill a vacant Senate seat, making him the first Black person to represent the Palmetto State in the Senate.
Scott was born in North Charleston and raised in a working-class home by his mother, who worked as a nurse’s assistant to support Scott and his older brother. A devout Christian, he attended Presbyterian College on a partial football scholarship before graduating from Charleston Southern University with a degree in political science. Scott is unmarried.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced his second presidential campaign in June 2023 at a town hall in New Hampshire, drawing stark contrasts with former President Donald Trump. On the campaign trail, Christie has touted his willingness to take on Trump directly, repeatedly hitting the GOP front-runner on his looming legal troubles and foreign policy, among other key issues.
Christie previously endorsed Trump after dropping out of the 2016 GOP primary and served as a close adviser to the then-president during his 2020 reelection campaign. He became one of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics after the former president’s false statements about the 2020 election and his subsequent attempts to overturn the results.
Christie was elected governor of the Garden State in 2009, beating Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine. He served two terms and left office in 2018 after weathering the so-called Bridgegate scandal and a 2017 state government shutdown. He also served as US attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008, under President George W. Bush, earning a reputation for being tough on corruption.
Christie graduated from the University of Delaware in 1984, and later earned his law degree from Seton Hall University in 1987. He has been married to his wife, Mary Pat, since 1986. The couple has four children.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who launched his bid for the presidency in June 2023, has made the economy, energy and national security the focus of his campaign. He wants to lower inflation, push the US to be energy independent and secure the southern US border.
Burgum was first elected North Dakota’s governor in 2016 – running as an outsider, he defeated the incumbent attorney general in the GOP primary. He was easily reelected in 2020. Before entering politics, Burgum started a software company that was later acquired by Microsoft, where he worked as an executive. He also founded a real estate development firm and co-founded a venture capital firm.
Born in Arthur, North Dakota, Burgum graduated from North Dakota State University and got his MBA from Stanford University. Burgum married his wife, Kathryn, in 2016. He has three children from a prior marriage.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson left office in January 2023 after two terms and announced his presidential campaign a few months later in April, seeking to “appeal to the best of America.”
He calls for cutting federal spending and workforce, strong border security, reforms to federal law enforcement. He supports Ukraine in its war against Russia and is against American isolationism.
Hutchinson is one of the few candidates who has been strongly critical of Donald Trump, calling on the former president to drop out over his legal troubles. Hutchinson’s extensive political career includes serving as a federal prosecutor under Ronald Reagan, a thrice-elected US congressman and the nation’s top drug czar and a Homeland Security undersecretary in the George W. Bush administration.
A native of Bentonville, Arkansas, Hutchinson graduated from Bob Jones University and the University of Arkansas School of Law. He and his wife, Susan, have four children.
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in April 2023, pointing to securing the border and combating criticism that the United States is systemically racist among his reasons for running. His campaign has also raised Topics such as school choice, limiting federal spending and countering the “epidemic of fatherlessness.”
Elder was the top Republican opponent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the unsuccessful effort to recall the Democratic leader in 2021. He has spent the past few decades in the media industry, writing multiple books and hosting TV shows. He began hosting his radio show, “The Larry Elder Show,” in 1993. Elder also practiced law and went on to start his own legal recruitment firm, Laurence A. Elder & Associates, which he owned for 15 years.
He was born in Los Angeles. His father served in the US Marine Corps while his mother was a clerical worker for the US Department of War during World War II. Elder graduated from Brown University with a degree in political science and from the University of Michigan School of Law. He is unmarried.
Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd of Texas entered the race for Republican presidential nomination in June 2023 as an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump.
Hurd said he was running because the US needs “commonsense leadership” to tackle “generational-defining challenges,” including inflation, China’s global influence, artificial intelligence and children’s low scores in math, science and reading.
Hurd served three terms in Congress, from 2015 to 2021, representing a swing district in Texas that covered the largest stretch of the US-Mexico border of any congressional seat. He was the only Black Republican in the US House when he announced he would not seek reelection in 2020.
Before entering politics, Hurd served in the CIA for almost a decade, including working as an undercover officer in Afghanistan, and also worked at a cybersecurity firm. He was born in San Antonio and is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He is married to Lynlie Wallace Hurd.
Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, who built a personal fortune through his company that certified whether businesses had met industrial standards, launched his presidential bid in March hours after appearing onstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Johnson is relatively new to politics. He ran for Michigan governor in 2022 but was kept off the ballot after the state’s elections bureau determined his campaign had submitted thousands of invalid signatures on his nominating petition and did not meet the minimum to qualify.
As a presidential candidate, Johnson has pitched himself as Donald Trump “without the baggage,” drawing parallels between his business career and the former president’s. He is the author of the book “Two Cents to Save America,” a proposal to slash US discretionary spending by 2% per year that Johnson has placed at the center of his presidential bid.
An Illinois native, Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois with a mathematics degree. He is married to Diana Johnson and has three sons.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is serving his second term leading Florida’s second-most populous city, entered the presidential race in June 2023, urging Republicans to unify and evoking Ronald Reagan’s call for the party to rebuild its “big tent” coalition.
The only high-profile Hispanic candidate in the GOP primary, Suarez aims to connect with segments of the country he says Republicans have historically lost, such as young and urban voters, Latinos and suburban women. As mayor, Suarez has promoted industries such as artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency and has advocated making Miami the new Silicon Valley. He has also spoken about combating climate change.
Suarez served as a Miami city commissioner for eight years prior to his election as mayor in 2017 – the first to be born in Miami. His parents were Cuban immigrants, and his father, Xavier, was Miami’s first Cuban American mayor.
Suarez graduated from Florida International University and the University of Florida law school. He and his wife, Gloria Fonts Suarez, have two children.
Veronica Stracqualursi, Kit Maher, Kate Sullivan, Aaron Pellish, Ebony Davis, Ali Main, Shania Shelton, Eric Bradner, Steve Contorno and Kaanita Iyer contributed to this page.
There’s no shortage of candidates for president—at least on the GOP side. But only a few of these candidates have a real shot. More of them, it seems, are running for different motives.
Still, we thought it was important to keep a running tally of every serious candidate for office and offer some political analysis as to why they’re running and what they’re really running for.
Despite an ever-expanding list of legal problems, the former president is still the presumptive GOP nominee—as long as he can evade those legal problems long enough.
Trump hardly needs an introduction. Indeed, he may be the most recognizable person in the world at this point, after decades in the spotlight as a real estate developer, then a media personality, then a real estate developer media personality—then finally the president. Trump nearly broke the Republican Party during his 2016 run for office, which was far from his first bid but by far his most serious. (Trump half-heartedly started running for president in 1988.)
After four turbulent years as president, Trump largely redefined what it means to be president—and what it means to be Republican. He has remade the GOP in his image, and there’s little indication that the party is turning back. Trump’s greatest threat to the GOP nomination are those pending court cases, which threaten to not only derail his political ambitions but also his freedom.
The Florida governor is considered the strongest threat to Trump’s stranglehold over the GOP nomination, but that doesn’t mean he’s much closer than the rest of the field. While always a bit of a conservative firebrand—the former congressman was one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus—he’s tacked even further to the right during the Republican primary to distinguish himself.
DeSantis has waged a near-constant culture war over subjects like LGBTQ rights, what’s taught in schools—from concepts like gender identity to the history of slavery—and the media. DeSantis has struggled, however, to find traction with the GOP voters he needs, while also turning off some big Republican donors who seemed ready to move on from Trump.
Still, if Trump were suddenly removed from the race, DeSantis would instantly become the favorite on the GOP side. His super PAC, Never Back Down, still has about $100 million on hand even after burning through tens of millions at an alarming rate. And despite not finding the immediate support he hoped for, he consistently polls second on the Republican side.
Christie has a very clear strategy: be the only one on the debate stage criticizing Trump.
Although Christie played a major role in propelling Trump to the presidency—in 2016, he largely sunk Marco Rubio’s chances with one debate performance, and then endorsed Trump at a crucial time in the race—Christie is filling a void in the race with some of the most direct condemnations of Trump.
The former New Jersey governor—and former U.S. Attorney of New Jersey—is likely the best spoken candidate on the Republican side. And he seems to view himself as one of the few people who can get through to GOP voters and free them from the Trump spell.
But Christie’s hard truths about Trump risks offending the former president’s many loyal supporters. And even though Christie has already shown early in the race that there is a base of support for a Trump critic in the GOP, he may also have a ceiling.
The former vice president was always going to struggle to find his natural constituency in a GOP primary. But Pence likely didn’t know how much he was going to struggle to find his own voice.
Like most of the GOP field, Pence has tried to navigate being against Trump while not being, strictly speaking, anti-Trump. His position, however—that Trump is uniquely unfit to be president, while Pence’s primary qualification for the job is that he was Trump’s vice president—is even more untenable than the rest of the field. Which is perhaps why Pence has barely found any support.
A former conservative talk radio host who became a congressman and then the governor of Indiana, Pence is well-versed in the grievance issues of the GOP. And he was a crucial ambassador to the religious right for Trump when he selected him as his VP. But Pence hasn’t been able to shake the supposed MAGA heresy of presiding over the Electoral College and affirming that Trump lost.
A former governor for South Carolina who later joined Trump’s cabinet as his U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has a common affliction in the GOP field: a need to navigate Trump.
Her candidacy is of course a rejection of Trumpism, but Haley has also shied away from any real criticism of the former president (who is also her former boss).
Haley was once a rising star in the GOP. She was only the second Indian American to ever be elected governor. She was the youngest governor in the nation when she served. And she was the first female governor of South Carolina. But her once bright star has faded somewhat since her time in Trump’s cabinet, and she continues to lag in the polls, training her criticism more at fellow South Carolinian Tim Scott rather than Trump.
The South Carolina Senator came to Congress in 2011 as part of the tea party wave of President Obama’s first midterm election. One of the few Black Republicans in Congress, Scott served one term in the House before he ran—and won—a Senate seat.
While Scott doesn’t have the same direct ties to Trump as much of the rest of the GOP field, he has still been a vocal cheerleader of Trump’s policies from Capitol Hill, as well as a consistent vote for Republican policies.
Scott’s unique status as a Black Republican has afforded him places at the table during many of Congress’ most high-profile discussions on welfare, criminal justice, and race. He has used that opportunity to argue for major cuts to food stamps, changes to policing (that Democrats blocked because they didn’t think it was aggressive enough, and has run much of his 2024 campaign on the idea that racism only occurs on the individual level, not on a systemic one.
While Scott polls in the single-digits, he has won some important backers, including Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, who has said he’s prepared to spend tens of millions to support Scott.
One of Trump’s favorite candidates running against him, Ramaswamy has found his lane in the GOP primary as a consistent defender of Trump in the shape of one of his competitors, though you could be forgiven for thinking Ramaswamy is running more for a position in Trump’s cabinet.
Ramaswamy has never held an elected office. Instead, he’s made his name as a hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical entrepreneur. Ramaswamy founded the biotech company Roivant Sciences, which was always more interested in purchasing drug patents than actually developing medicines. (The “ROI” in Roivant stands for “Return On Investment.”) Roivant became wildly successful, with multiple spin-off companies, despite never turning a profit.
The company—or, really companies—have made Ramaswamy exorbitantly wealthy, with Forbes estimating that he’s worth at least $630 million. The Harvard undergrad, Yale Law graduate has made “wokeness” his pet issue. But despite being one of the first entrants into the GOP race, Ramaswamy has also found little traction, with voters still preferring the authentic Trump over a brand of Trump-Lite.
The billionaire governor of North Dakota, Burgum—very much an unshowy midwesterner—may not have an obvious constituency for a presidential run in today’s GOP. But his willingness to spend his own fortune could help him pick up at least some support.
A software engineer by training, Burgum sold his North Dakota-based company to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. In 2016, he won the governorship as a first-time candidate and shocked a rival backed by the state GOP establishment; in 2020, he was overwhelmingly re-elected. Burgum has governed as an anti-abortion and tax-cutting conservative, though he has been more willing to propose climate change solutions than many other Republican politicians.
Burgum and Trump both endorsed each other in their 2016 and 2020 elections. While Burgum is now running against Trump, he said he would support him if he were the GOP nominee—but wouldn’t do business with him.
Hutchinson is adopting a similar role to Christie—just with a fraction of the name ID.
The now-former governor of Arkansas seems like an unlikely person to be so critical of Trump, but he has been far more unsparing than the rest of the GOP field.
Hutchinson—a former U.S. Attorney for Western Arkansas, a former congressman, and a former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and top undersecretary for Homeland Security under George W. Bush and a top—Hutchinson is a Republican politician with decades of experience in a very different GOP.
As governor of Arkansas, a state that went for Trump by 28 points, Hutchinson supported the COVID vaccine and vetoed a ban on gender-affirming operations for transgender children. He has consistently gone after Trump in the 2024 race but has barely broken through. Still, he seems to be pushing the other GOP candidates toward embracing some harsh realities about Trump that many GOP voters are reluctant to accept.
The mayor of Miami was a late entrant into the race, and he hasn’t found much in the way of success.
Despite meeting the 40,000 donor-threshold for the first debate, Suarez has yet to meet the minimum polling requirements. Part of the issue is that Suarez hasn’t widely articulated why he’s running—just that he is running.
Suarez is the only mainstream Latino candidate running for president, and has been part of South Florida’s transformation from a blue-ish purple area to a largely red big city, though he was decidedly more supportive of COVID restrictions than the Florida governor.
But even though Suarez claims to be the only GOP candidate who never voted for Trump, he is still another Republican afraid of criticizing Trump—or even really criticizing DeSantis, who will almost certainly also eat into his base of support. Suarez, 45, instead seems to be another GOP candidate running for a lesser position. Or to at least raise his profile for the future.
A former Texas congressman from a battleground district, Hurd was always a little out of place in Trump’s version of the GOP. During his six years in Congress, Hurd frequently found himself at odds with GOP leaders on issues like repealing Obamacare, immigration, and restricting LBTQ rights.
Now, Hurd finds himself at odds with much of the GOP field and, indeed, the GOP base.
A former CIA officer, Hurd is a no-nonsense Republican who made his name on national defense and intelligence issues. He was never naturally aligned with Trump, and he has made it his issue in the race to prosecute a case against Trump in the court of public opinion. But he faces a similar issue to Hutchinson: Christie is more recognizable in that lane.
Still, even if he wasn’t strictly speaking anti-Trump while in Congress, he now embodies an anti-Trump: a Black Republican who cares about defense and policy issues a lot more than demagoguery and personal grievances.
A Michigan multi-millionaire, Johnson is waging a longshot White House run focused on the U.S. economy and the national debt.
Johnson made his name in the quality control field, focusing on helping auto manufacturers comply with production standards. In 2021, as a political novice, he launched a campaign for Michigan governor with a $1.5 million Super Bowl ad. But he and five other rivals did not qualify for the GOP primary ballot when it was discovered their paid canvassers had submitted fraudulent signatures.
After teasing a run for U.S. Senate in Michigan in 2024, Johnson opted to instead run for president, launching with another Super Bowl ad which ran in Iowa. He has sold himself to voters as a “pro-life” and “anti-woke” candidate who would be “Donald Trump without the baggage.”
As he struggles to qualify for the GOP debate stage, Johnson has said he’d pardon Trump of any crimes if he won the presidency.
The bombastic conservative pundit from Los Angeles is popular in some corners of the GOP base, but is running in a lane Trump already dominates.
A longtime talk radio host and right-wing commentator, Elder has amassed a lengthy list of controversies, frequently disparaging women and LGBTQ people. He has been a strong supporter of Trump since 2016 and has backed his conspiracies about the 2020 election.
In 2021, Elder was the GOP frontrunner in the election to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, focusing his campaign on attacking COVID restrictions. Ultimately, only 38 percent of voters supported recalling Newsom, but Elder was the preferred governor candidate of half of those voters. Newsom, aided by President Biden, campaigned against Elder specifically, calling him a manifestation of Trumpism.
In April, Elder launched his campaign and has struggled to gain much traction. He is one of three Black candidates for the GOP nomination and the only candidate from the West Coast in the primary field.
President Joe Biden is no doubt the favorite to win the presidency in November 2024.
Despite his age—80 now, and 82 by the time he would be inaugurated again—Biden will cruise to the Democratic nomination, where he remains the favorite against both Trump and DeSantis. Or anyone else in the GOP field or that matter.
Biden has been a politician almost his entire adult life—first as county councilmember in 1971, then as a U.S. Senator from Delaware in 1973, then as vice president in 2009, and finally as president starting in 2021. Republicans have long-painted Biden’s decades of service as a negative more than a positive, now using his son, Hunter Biden, as a line of attack. (Hunter appears to have tried using his connections to his father, who was then vice president, to earn massive paydays as a board member for a Ukrainian company.)
But Biden has also long defied political expectations. While he happily stood in the massive shadow of President Barack Obama for eight years, Biden has accomplished huge achievements in two years that would make Obama envious: a huge infrastructure bill; the lowering of drug costs for tens of millions on Medicare; insulin costs coming down to $35 a month (first for seniors, and soon for all Americans); massive investments in fighting climate change; the most ambitious gun reforms in three decades; the management of an inflation crisis and an expected economic downturn to slowly tamp down both without exacerbating the other.
Biden accomplished these goals while taking office during a global pandemic, two weeks after a bloody and divisive insurrection, with a 6.3 percent unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is now 3.5 percent, with more than 13 million jobs being created under Biden’s watch, and he accomplished many of his achievements with bipartisan support.
While his age and his son will continue to plague him throughout the election, Biden has managed to accomplish huge Democratic priorities without triggering Republicans in the same way that Obama did during his presidency.
The New Age self-help guru and failed 2020 presidential candidate is making another quixotic run for the Democratic nomination.
Williamson’s comeback quickly became bogged down in crisis. Shortly after launching her bid to challenge Biden, reports emerged that her 2020 campaign was plagued with abysmal morale, with the candidate allegedly berating aides and behaving erratically. Her 2024 operation is no different, cycling through different campaign managers and bleeding staff, The Daily Beast and other outlets have reported.
Williamson has emphasized a generally left-wing message while arguing Biden is a “weak choice” for the party. The New Age-y tone of Williamson’s 2020 run, which sparked viral moments, has been missing from her 2024 run. “I haven’t spoken about love so much because when I do, I’m often mocked and derided,” she told Politico.
Polling in the single digits and raising little money, and with no debates to raise her profile, it’s unlikely Williamson can make it deep into the primary.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The conspiracy-pushing and push-up loving scion of the Kennedy family is certainly making noise in the 2024 race—so much so that many are beginning to wonder if he’s running in the wrong party’s primary.
The nephew of a president and a senator, and the son of a senator, Kennedy is running an outsider, anti-establishment challenge for the Democratic nomination despite his unparalleled connections in politics, media, Wall Street, and Hollywood.
Although Kennedy has liberal positions on abortion and the environment, his longtime advocacy of vaccine misinformation, vocal criticism of COVID public health measures, and general affinity for conspiracy theories has earned him many fans on the right. He earned widespread blowback for claiming the coronavirus was engineered to spare Jews. DeSantis has floated appointing him as CDC director if he wins the presidency.
While Kennedy is far behind Biden in polls, he and his aligned super PAC have attracted big-money donations, including $5 million from a former Trump megadonor, increasing the chance he could compete in the early voting states.
Update, Aug. 23, 2023, at 2:30 p.m.: While playing pickup basketball with his staff on Tuesday, Burgum suffered a “high-grade tear of his Achilles tendon,” an injury requiring him to be on crutches, and a less-than-ideal situation. He will make a last-minute decision on Wednesday about whether to participate in the debate.
Among the eight candidates occupying the Republican presidential debate stage Wednesday night is a fellow named Doug Burgum.
Who in the Sam Hill is that? And how the dickens did he get on the debate stage?
… Or so all you coastal elitists ask.
Doug Burgum is the popular two-term governor of North Dakota who decided to run for president because North Dakota basically runs itself and, as a very rich man, he can afford to do so.*
Burgum began his rise to fame as a chimney sweep. No, seriously! In his senior year of college, he began a chimney-sweeping service, and a newspaper published photos of him hopping around rooftops in a tuxedo. You know who loved this? Stanford University! It admitted him to its MBA program. (Kids of today: Take note.)
Flush with knowledge of business, Burgum started a tech company in the 1980s called Great Plains Software, which Microsoft acquired in 2001 for $1.1 billion. (You can tell he’s “good at software” because check out his website: You scroll down and the website moves sideways. It’s like living on Mars!) Burgum worked for Microsoft until 2007 and remained friendly with bigwigs there, including Bill Gates, who would eventually donate to his gubernatorial campaign. Since many Republican primary voters believe that Gates cares enough about them to want to clandestinely track them via vaccine-introduced microchip, this connection could be a problem if Burgum’s campaign ever goes anywhere.
After leaving Microsoft, the rich Burgum got richer with a couple of other companies, including a real-estate development firm in Fargo and a venture capital company.
Burgum entered the 2016 governor’s race as a dark horse business candidate. He used his secret weapon (money) to pull off a substantial upset against the powers that be, some of whom had funny surnames. The state Republican Party endorsed North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to replace incumbent Gov. Jack Dalrymple at the state convention, but Burgum pulled off a comfortable victory in the primary. It was politics in 2016, and out-of-left-field businesspeople were all the rage.
What is Burgum like? Aesthetically, we’re looking at a smiling Midwestern version of Jeremy Irons’ coldblooded investment bank CEO character in the persistently underappreciated 2011 film Margin Call.
As a governor and presidential candidate, Burgum seems like a McKinsey consultant who just wants to focus on taxes and regulation but understands he’s got to throw people a bone on the cultural stuff to get them all jazzed up. His very brief “Why Doug?” page on his website says this in so many words. After listing his “top priorities” as “the economy, energy, and national security,” the website says: “Make no mistake, Doug’s a conservative on other issues too.” For sure, for sure. “But he knows if we get the economy, energy and national security right, we will unlock the best of America and Strengthen every American life.”
Whether or not Burgum actually cares about hot-button cultural issues as much as he does the possibilities of carbon sequestration—the way he’s attempted to marry his concern for carbon emissions with his state’s dependence on oil and gas production—he doesn’t seem to have any problem signing all sorts of harsh bills the North Dakota Legislature throws his way.
This spring, Burgum signed one of the country’s strictest post-Dobbs abortion laws, effectively banning abortion with exceptions up to a mere six weeks in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies. (He’s said he would not sign a federal abortion ban if elected president.) And in this year’s session, the state Legislature sent him about eight bills, most of which Burgum signed, targeting the roughly seven trans people in North Dakota. He did at least veto one that “would generally prohibit public schools teachers and staff from referring to transgender students by pronouns other than those reflecting the sex assigned to them at birth,” which narrowly survived a legislative override.
Has Burgum posted any quality polling yet? No. His name recognition is among the lowest in the field. To the extent Burgum has made an impact on the race thus far, it’s to show how stupid the Republican National Committee’s donor requirement for debate participation is. Burgum—who, again, is rich and can self-fund—offered $20 gift cards to those who donated $1 to his campaign, allowing him to meet the requirement of 40,000 unique donors spread across the country. That may sound sleazy—because it is. But the alternative that the RNC’s system promotes is keeping candidates hostage in the Fox News greenroom all campaign rather than giving them space to prove their retail politicking skills and ability to forge connections, which is the theoretical basis of the much-celebrated first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.
Unlike his fellow debate-stage backbencher, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Burgum has not been trying to build national name recognition the time-tested way: by going after Trump, and enticing Trump to punch back. Burgum, after all, is still a sitting governor in an extraordinarily red state, and governors like to remain popular at home.* And going after Trump does necessarily limit your potential appeal among members of the Republican electorate just as you’re introducing yourself to them.
When asked this week on NBC’s Meet the Press why he barely mentions the former president and refuses to weigh in on Trump’s many (alleged) crimes in many jurisdictions, Burgum suggested that now just wasn’t the time for that.
“If I had 100 percent national name recognition, if I’d run for president before, if I was living in a major media market and everybody in the country knew me,” Burgum told host Chuck Todd, “that’d be a different spot.”
We should expect Burgum to apply a quintessential first-debate strategy: He’s not going to pick many fights. He’s going to use the platform to repeatedly introduce a few key talking points and build up his national name recognition. Maybe he’ll toss a zinger or two in there if he’s feeling spunky. Would it be fun if he came prepped with a party trick, like chugging a pint of liquefied natural gas freshly fracked from the Bakken Formation that morning? Yes. But Burgum’s commitment to fun, in these early stages, appears limited.
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But it may be another customized Snapdragon, rather than a wholly internal project.
Microsoft is actively expanding a team tasked with making a new challenger to Apple Silicon, according to a report by Windows Latest. Like Apple’s M series processors, the new Microsoft SoCs will be based on Arm architecture, the report claims. But making the SoC development somewhat more exciting, Microsoft is said to be working in parallel to make sure Windows 12 will be Arm optimized.
Information about a new Microsoft-designed Arm chip comes from several sources, Windows Latest discloses. A few job listings, like this one, are said to provide clues; several other job listings have been removed at the time of writing. In addition to these listings, an unnamed source indicated to Windows Latest that “Microsoft is optimizing Windows 12 for Silicon-ARM architecture.”
Pondering over the still-live ‘Senior Product Engineer’ job listing reveals that the candidate will work for “the Microsoft Silicon team” and be tasked with a wide range of semiconductor development processes to advance Azure, XBOX, Surface, and HoloLens using Microsoft’s “internally developed silicon components.” The lengthy job description mentions various silicon design and testing tasks.In another job description, which isn’t sourced, Microsoft is specifically recruiting a ‘Principal System on Chip (SoC) Silicon Architect.’ It seeks someone with experience in high-performance SOC architecture and CPU and GPU architecture and design. The main role of this recruit will be in “building complex, state-of-the-art SOCs using leading silicon technology nodes and will collaborate closely with internal customers and partners,” relays Windows Latest.
We aren’t sure where the leap of faith or logic that the above team members will be designing a chip for Windows 12 comes from. We only have the related statement from Windows Latest about Windows 12 being optimized for Arm. So, please add a pinch of salt to the idea that Microsoft is readying an Apple M2 killer under its own efforts/brand. It would be more traditional for it to work with the likes of Qualcomm, which reckons it has an Arm chip with something special coming soon, thanks to the work of the ex-Nuvia team.
Some Context – Microsoft SQ Series – A Collaboration With Qualcomm
It wouldn’t be so surprising if Microsoft’s Silicon Team was working on a new Surface chip, as it has done so before. Less than three years ago it launched the Surface Pro X 2-in-1 with a custom Microsoft SQ1 processor (7W). That chip arrived with a lot of boasts about its CPU, GPU, and AI processing, but the claims, and compatibility, fell a little flat in practice (see linked review above). However, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 launched last November with a new SQ3 chip, and did a lot better, as you can read in our review.The SQ series Arm processors, which are custom designed for Surface portable devices, are collaboratively designed with Qualcomm doing most of the heavy lifting. These chips are based on contemporary Snapdragon 8CX designs, so when the Nuvia chips arrive, Microsoft might have a parallel SQ model taking advantage of the newer cores. The first Snapdragon with Nuvia cores is expected to be the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 Processor, and should emerge near year-end.
Some Windows 12 Nuggets
Windows 12 is still very much an unknown but news of it has been cropping up more frequently in exact months. Windows 12 development was supposed to have started in earnest this March, and we have seen Intel Meteor Lake chips being prepared with Windows 12 support.
Windows Latest shared some nuggets regarding the new OS from Microsoft that are interesting enough to relay here. It says that Windows 12 has a targeted release date of late 2024. As part of the Windows Core project, version 12 should be more modular and customizable for different form factors – which will be further boosted by good Arm optimization.
Moreover, the built-in AI acceleration in modern processors will give utilities we have already seen in Windows 11 a smart boost. The source says that an AI-driven smart snap window arranging tool seen in Windows 11 is an example of something that could be standard in 12. Pausing for thought, could an AI coprocessor thus become a minimum requirement in Windows 12?
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By Colin Kellaher
Clinical-stage biotechnology company Galecto is scrapping its lead product candidate following the failure of a Phase 2b study in the chronic lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF.
The Boston company on Tuesday said the study evaluating the safety and efficacy of inhaled GB0139 for the treatment of IPF missed its primary endpoint of change from baseline in rate of decline in forced vital capacity, a measure of the maximum amount of air that a patient can forcibly exhale from the lungs.
Galecto said that based on the study results, it is ending development of GB0139 and will focus on advancing its pipeline for the treatment of severe liver diseases.
Galecto, which had about $49 million in cash, equivalents and investments at the end of July, also said it is evaluating resource allocation as it looks to extend its cash runway into 2025.
Trading in shares of Galecto, which closed Monday at $2.34, was halted premarket on Tuesday.
Write to Colin Kellaher at email@example.com