US Presidential Elections 2024: Key dates and events, what lies ahead

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The 2024 presidential election began this week in Iowa, with the state holding its first-in-the-nation caucuses, where former US President Donald Trump registered a huge victory with an unprecedented margin. At the Iowa caucuses, Trump established his dominance over the party and its followers as he prepared for a 2020 rematch with incumbent Joe Biden.

As the 2024 presidential election began in the US on Monday night (January 15) in Iowa, with the state holding its first-in-the-nation caucuses, Trump played smart and came one step closer to the Republican nomination as he deviated from his usual attacking style and congratulated his GOP rivals, ABC News reported.

Notably, Trump kicked off his bid to win the party’s third consecutive presidential nomination despite skipping the GOP primary debates. The results also demonstrated how ‘devoted’ Republicans remain to Trump amid his highly unusual campaign–one being waged between court appearances, indictments and removal from ballots.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came in a distant second with eight delegates and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley finished not much behind with seven delegates as the contest moved to New Hampshire, where the latter enjoys some clout. Notably, the Republican and Democratic parties choose their candidates through caucuses and primaries, respectively.

The majority of US states conduct primaries, although certain traditional Republican strongholds, such as Iowa, hold caucuses to elect delegates. The delegates elected in caucuses and primaries vote at the convention, reported Al Jazeera. This one-of-a-kind voting event in Iowa, a Republican-dominated state, has signalled the start of presidential primaries since 1972.

As the Iowa caucuses took place on January 15 (Monday night), New Hampshire’s primary will be conducted on January 23, which will be followed by Nevada’s Democratic primary on February 6 and the Republican caucuses on February 8, reported ABC News.

South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary will take place on February 3 for Democrats and February 24 for Republicans. On March 5, sixteen states and territories will have their own Republican nomination contests, a number so large that the date has become known as Super Tuesday.

Four additional states will conduct races on March 12, with five more following on March 19. There is little activity on the Democratic side, as President Joe Biden intends to glide to the nomination given his popularity among party voters.

However, intraparty competitors such as author Marianne Williamson and Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips are competing in the New Hampshire Democrats’ unofficial primary on January 23, hoping to give their longshot campaigns a boost, according to ABC News.

The Republican National Convention will be held in Milwaukee from July 15-18, while the Democrats will conduct their convention in Chicago from August 19-22. The national conventions formally complete the primary phase of the 2024 contest, and the general election campaign is expected to ratchet up rapidly over the summer until Election Day on November 5.

However, because to the growing popularity of mail ballots, millions are likely to vote. Notably, while Trump solidified his position as a Republican presidential candidate in his bid to return to the White House, Ramaswamy pulled out of the race after finishing a distant fourth in Iowa.

After dropping out of the race on Monday (local time), Ramaswamy had straightaway endorsed Trump and urged Republican voters to put an “America First patriot” in the White House. The next US presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024.