Two Indian-Americans among Republican Presidential hopefuls for 2024

With US President Joe Biden announcing his candidacy for the 2024 election, all eyes are on the Republicans and their prospective candidates.

President Donald J. Trump is seen at his desk Friday evening, December 21, 2018, in the Oval Office
Donald J Trump in the Oval Office during his Presidential term. Photo courtesy: Flickr/Trump White House Archives

Former President Donald Trump has also thrown his hat in the ring among what looks to be another fractious primary cycle for the GOP. Trump remains a favourite among many Republicans, but his legal troubles and role in an underwhelming midterm election performance for the party have left him vulnerable.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seen as one of the strongest potential candidates, with sources saying he is looking to begin his formal campaign in mid-June.

Two Indian-origin candidates, former South California Governor Nikki Haley and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, have also formally declared their intentions to run. There are also a host of Republican Party members waiting in the wings, such as former Vice-President Mike Trump.

Let's take a look at some of the most prominent Republicans in the race for the GOP nomination.

Nikki Haley

Born in South Carolina to Punjabi Sikh immigrants, Haley became the youngest governor in the country in 2009.
Born in South Carolina to Punjabi Sikh immigrants, Haley became the youngest governor in the country in 2009. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@NikkiHaley

The Indian-origin former Ambassador to the United Nations became the first major Republican candidate when she announced in mid-February. She was recently in the media spotlight over her claims that if Biden is voted in for a second term, his supporters should expect a "President Harris" instead. She stated, "the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely."

Born in South Carolina to Punjabi Sikh immigrants, Haley became the youngest governor in the country in 2009. 

Her campaign, which includes a call for mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old, stresses the need for "a new generation" of US leaders.

She is still considered as an outsider candidate, and is polling at a low 3% among potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, according to a January Morning Consult poll.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Indian-American Ramaswamy is seen as a long shot because of his political inexperience. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@VivekGRamaswamy

The 37-year-old Indian-American multimillionaire investment firm manager entered the fray with a video announcement in which he dubs “covidism, climatism and gender ideology” as “new secular religions,” a statement that builds on what he calls an “anti-woke” message detailed in his 2021 book, “Woke, Inc.”

Ramaswamy is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and has ties to Senator JD Vance. Expert opinion puts him down as an unlikely choice, as he is running a largely self-funded campaign and because of his youth and political inexperience.

Ron DeSantis

Photo courtesy: Twitter/
The 44-year-old is seen as 'Trump without the baggage' and is likely to be a strong candidate. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RonDeSantisFL

The Florida governor has yet to declare his intention to stand in 2024 although most political commentators expect him to do so by next month. He has been described as "Trump with a brain", highlighting his profile as a potential choice. DeSantis plans to launch a presidential exploratory committee in mid-May ahead of a possible mid-June announcement, according to multiple reports.

Boosted to the governorship by Trump's endorsement, he romped to re-election in the 2022 midterms by more than 1.5 million votes, the largest margin in the state in more than four decades, which has led to him being considered as one of Trump’s biggest potential rivals in the race.

However, DeSantis has suffered a series of political blows in recent weeks, including losing endorsements of the majority of Florida’s GOP Congressional delegation to Trump and trailing the US President in the polls.

Mike Pence

Photo courtesy: Twitter/@MikePence
The former Vice-President had a falling out with Trump after the January 6 riots. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@MikePence

The former vice-president and Indiana governor has signaled he is exploring a Presidential bid. Pence also has declined to commit to supporting Trump if he is the Republican nominee, and his falling out with the President after the January 6 Capitol riots is well-documented. 

Mike Pence's biggest strengths are his appeal to white Christian evangelicals and his national profile.

However, his break with Trump has made him a bit of a pariah for the MAGA base, and he doesn't have much mainstream support of his own.

Outsider candidates

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the only black Republican in the US Senate Tim Scott and former New Jersey Governor as well as Trump supporter-turned-foe Chris Christie have also either announced they are running or are considering doing so.

The field of GOP Presidential hopefuls is expected to grow as campaign season gains momentum, but with the first Presidential primary still nearly a year away, a lot can change before voters head to the polls..