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The Westminster Bi-Line

Commentary on the Republican Party presidential primaries and upcoming election


As the presidential election nears, caucuses are being organized to select delegates for the 2024 Republican National Convention to determine the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee. The Republican candidates include former U.N. ambassador and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and former president Donald Trump. The Republican nominee will officially be chosen at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, which begins on July 15, 2024. 

The six main Republican candidates who started out fighting to become the Republican presidential nominee have slowly been weeded down to two. Ron DeSantis, with nine delegates, is the 46th governor of Florida, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, and one-time ally of former president Donald Trump. DeSantis dropped out of the running on Jan. 21. Vivek Ramaswamy, with three delegates, is an American entrepreneur, politician, and founder of Roivant Sciences. Ramaswamy dropped out on Jan. 15 following the Iowa caucuses. Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie each had zero delegates and dropped out on Jan. 16 and Jan. 10 respectively. Hutchinson is an American attorney, businessman, and politician who served as the 46th governor of Arkansas from 2015 to 2023. Moreover, Christie is the former governor of New Jersey and the former United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. As of present, Trump and Haley are the only candidates who have not dropped out of the running. 

As the end of the Republican primary season approaches, there is much controversy in finalizing the Republican 2024 presidential nominee.  Donald Trump’s campaign follows his previous four-year term as America’s 45th president, which concluded with his supporters staging an attack on the Capitol. He currently faces a total of 91 assorted criminal charges. Trump’s campaign pairs familiar culture-war issues with fresh grievances against the lawyers prosecuting his cases and the judges overseeing them. Trump currently has a considerable grip on the party and is far ahead in the polls compared to Nikki Haley. However, Trump’s seeming lock may become uncertain as the former president faces the prospect of four criminal trials on felony charges, which will overlap with the Republican primary season and the general election campaign.  

“The sooner the Republican party moves on, the sooner I feel we can regain control in government offices lost due to association with Trump,” said senior Young Conservatives leader Hillis Kopecky when asked about  the current state of the Republican Party with Trump in the lead. 

Nikki Haley is the current underdog in the running. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, became the first woman governor of South Carolina, her home state. She also served as Trump’s ambassador to the UN, and during her campaign she has criticized his chaotic leadership style and, more bluntly, his age. The 51-year-old insists America deserves a new generation of leadership. 

Nikki Haley’s stances, while conservative, show a lot of empathy and growth, according to senior Civic Dialogue fFellow, Lizzie Hunter. 

 “A lot of people have criticized her shift in opinions over time, but someone who is evolving, changing, growing, and reforming her stances is what I look for in a candidate.”

Jackson Cropper, senior Young Democrats leader, believes major issues such as the state of Palestine, equality and equity for all people, abortion, gun control, and taxes will be an important factor in the election. He believes that a leader who can properly represent the majority of America will create a better society. Senior Young Democrats leader Sophia Cunningham expresses a similar stance to that of Cropper. She states that the headline issues in this election will definitely end up including Israel-Palestine foreign policy, climate policy, and, specifically for Republican candidates, culture wars in public schools.

In addition, Cunningham also believes that age will be a factor in this year’s decision. She said that Joe Biden’s age has been a concern for the entire length of his presidency, as well as that of Senator Mitch McConnell and some of the Supreme Court justices. She believes that a fresher perspective in office would add a lot, both in terms of policy and public relations. 

As a younger generation of voters enter the scene, there will be a lot on their minds in terms of policy and the unification of our country. Many have taken it upon themselves to acknowledge prior issues that have not worked in the past as well as to educate themselves on what will be best for our country in the future. As the Republican nominee is being selected, citizens will be eager to see these concerns addressed. Whether it be Nikki Haley or Donald Trump, it is certain that young citizens now want a greater connection with their country and more formidable attempts at re-legitimizing their government.


Edited by Anjini Naidu

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