2024 presidential candidates: Who's in the race so far

As we draw closer to the 2024 presidential election, Yahoo Finance senior columnist Rick Newman breaks down the growing pool of current 2024 presidential candidates, while also commenting on developments in former President Trump's ongoing legal battles.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: The pool of GOP presidential candidates for 2024 is growing. But the idea is coming to the surface seem to be less abundant. "Yahoo Finance's" Rick Newman joins us now. Do you mean there's just not a fountain, a water, a well where these candidates coming from.

RICK NEWMAN: Of course, I'm paying attention to what are they actually going to run on. And for our audience, are we seeing any interesting ideas on the economy or anything like that? So for now, basically, what they're doing is saying, everything sucks under Biden. The economy stinks. And the main reason for that is inflation. But I think that's risky because we've already seen inflation come down from 9% last year to 4.9%.

And most forecasts are for inflation below 3% next year. So if you're going to be dinging Biden for inflation and also for gasoline prices, when they're actually coming down and they're more or less in the normal range during the election year, you ain't got much. So what are they going to be running on?

And the first problem for all these candidates, 11 of the 12, anyway, who are in so far, is they got to get Donald Trump out of the way. So what they're doing now is mostly running trying to figure out how they can beat Donald Trump. Some of them are taking him on directly, such as Chris Christie. Others are more subtle, such as Tim Scott, the South Carolina Senator. He's not really criticizing Trump. He's just trying to be a more genial version of Trump, if you will.

And there are some murmurs about economic ideas. But it's just not much you haven't heard before.

JULIE HYMAN: I don't even know who some of these people are, Rick.

RICK NEWMAN: That's usually the case.

JULIE HYMAN: I'm looking over at the big screen here. And looking at some of these people, Ryan Binkley.

BRAD SMITH: The Binkley Estate, yes.

RICK NEWMAN: OK. Good. But you guys are surely fans of Doug Burgum.

JULIE HYMAN: I've heard his name before.

BRAD SMITH: That Doug. Yes.

JULIE HYMAN: It is interesting.

RICK NEWMAN: By the way, he is the governor of North Dakota for people who are unware.



JULIE HYMAN: I know that this is not an economics and business question. But why are they-- and is it just to improve to get their name recognition up? Why are these people running for president?

RICK NEWMAN: This is a perennial question.


RICK NEWMAN: This happens every election.

JULIE HYMAN: This is a particularly crowded field.

RICK NEWMAN: You have a lot of people running for president who have no chance. Everybody knows they have no chance. Maybe they're such egomaniacs that they think they can do it. But I think, let's call it three things. Number one, ego. Some people think they actually have a chance at the job or they deserve a shot at the job, number one.

Number two, it's great for your future prospects. Some of the people who end up running for president and don't have a chance do end up in the administration of whoever wins. Think about Pete Buttigieg, for instance. He ran as the mayor of a small town. And everybody thought, what the heck is this guy doing in the race? Well, he's now the Transportation Secretary.

And I think a third reason is, you make money when you become famous in America. Celebrity is easy to monetize, if you know how to do it. So if you can get donors to pay for your commercials or things like that, and makes you more famous, you're going to have more book sales. You have a better chance at reelection, if you are running for office again, and things like that. So there are many reasons to do it. I wouldn't. But look, plenty of people would.

JULIE HYMAN: And just quickly here. President Trump, there's some new talk that we're maybe getting closer to charges on obstruction of justice or document hiding, what have you. What do we know about that? And what that could mean for the race, if anything?

RICK NEWMAN: It's hard to keep track of all the legal cases involving Trump. But this is the federal case. We don't know what those charges are going to be. They could be things like obstruction of justice. They could be things related to the misuse of national security documents. All of those are very serious. It could be all of them. That seems like an indictment is coming soon.

And the Justice Department has basically formally told Trump's lawyers, yes, we have an investigation that is likely to lead to an indictment soon. There is also looking like, there will be some case indictment in Georgia on election fraud charges by the end of the summer.

So that's three major criminal trials, allegations involving Trump, so far, probably, by the end of the summer. So Trump is going to be running under an enormous pile of legal stress. And for people who think, this will probably benefit him because it looks like he's a victim. He's going to be consumed with defending himself in these trials. He's going to be having to make court appearances. His lawyers are going to be making continual court appearances.

It is going to be hard for him to run a coherent campaign. Now, you could argue he didn't run a coherent campaign in 2016 or '20. But he was fully devoted to the campaign in those two years. And I'm not sure that's going to be the case in '24.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, and you could argue that his hard fans will continue to vote for him come what may. But that moderate Republican might not be as likely--

RICK NEWMAN: That's already--

JULIE HYMAN: --to hold their noses and do it.

RICK NEWMAN: That was the case in 2020 before the January 6 riots, before any charges of Trump's involvement in those riots, and before any of these criminal cases had really developed. So, yes, that will be a bigger problem for him.

JULIE HYMAN: Rick Newman, thanks as always.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.

JULIE HYMAN: Appreciate it.