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How Vivek Ramaswamy Became a Major Presidential Candidate

In accordance with Definition of FiveThirtyEight, there are currently 11 major Republican presidential candidates. Ten of them have previously held or currently hold important elected office (President, Senator, Governor, Representative, Mayor) and then there’s Vivek Ramaswamy. But you wouldn’t guess his lack of political experience from the way he’s acting (at least so far). The Ohio businessman and first-time candidate has made it highest survey than three current or former governors and receive roughly the same Google search interest as a former vice president and former UN ambassador.

There literally is hundreds of people with no political experience running for the presidency, so how has Ramaswamy managed to capture so much public attention while others still languish in obscurity? We believe there are at least three reasons.

1. He is rich

Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best. Ramaswamy has founded two successful companies: Roivant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company focused on drug development, and Strive Asset Management. His career as a businessman has made him a wealthy man. Earlier this year, Forbes estimated his net worth at least $630 million.

The best-funded candidates don’t always win, but you need a credible amount of money to be a serious candidate for the presidency, and that has given Ramaswamy his wealth. As of March 31, it had loaned $10.25 million in his own campaign, twice as much as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley raised in total up to this point. (Most GOP primary candidates jumped ship after March 31st, so we don’t know how they stack up, but we’ll have a more accurate tally on July 15th, when fundraising reports are due fund of the second quarter).

And he’s investing that money in the things necessary for a successful campaign. His campaign tells FiveThirtyEight that it has about 40 people on staff, including veterans of former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns. And he’s been racking up the frequent flyer miles: As of July 7, he’d spent 17 days campaigning in Iowa and 14 in New Hampshire, more than anyone else, according to our data tracking candidates’ visits to early states important candidate

2. He is very good at getting media

Ramaswamy had another big advantage over other non-politicians in the Republican primary: He already had a platform from which to reach the Republican base. In 2021, Ramaswamy wrote a book called “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam” warning against liberal politics entering business practices. As a result, even before his presidential campaign, he was one frequent guest on conservative cable news to discuss the dangers of “wake up.” From December 18, 2020, to the day he launched his campaign, he appeared on Fox News at least 110 times and Newsmax at least 12 times. This includes 20 appearances on a “Fox and Friends”-branded show and 22 appearances on Tucker Carlson’s show, in which he announced that he was running for president on February 21, 2023.

He has continued the media bombardment as a presidential candidate; is known by him he almost never turns down an interview request. Since its launch date, it has appeared on Fox News at least 14 times and Newsmax at least 10 times. By comparison, according to Haley’s IMDb page, has appeared on Fox News just nine times and Newsmax just three times during that period. Ramaswamy has also appeared on several conservative podcasts, including those hosted by Candace Owens, Tim Poole and the former deputy. Ron Paul.

3. He is not like other Republican politicians

Ramaswamy may not like to dwell on it, he believes in an American national identity rather than a focus on race, but his campaign could be historic. The son of immigrants from India, he would be the first non-white Republican presidential candidate and the first Hindu president. Research suggests that some Republican voters are attracted to non-white candidates because they like conservative beliefs valid for someone who is not white. Others may appreciate having a non-white candidate who can forestall attacks that the GOP is racist. Ramaswamy has even explicitly made this argument regarding religion: “I can defend it [Judeo-Christian] values ​​without anyone accusing me of being a Christian nationalist”. he told NPR.

More important, however, may be Ramaswamy’s age. He is only 37 years old, what makes him, in his words, “the first millennial to run for president of the United States as a Republican.” That has helped him stand out in a year in which age is especially salient thanks to the advanced years of both Democratic and Republican leaders; according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post polleven 28 percent of Republicans believe Trump is too old to serve another term as president.

These factors have helped put Ramaswamy in the 2024 presidential conversation alongside more seasoned politicians. That’s an impressive accomplishment, but the really hard part will be taking the next step and actually being competitive for the GOP nomination.

The good news for Ramaswamy is that when Republicans get to know him, they tend to like him. In accordance with Morning consultation, 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of him, and only 14 percent have an unfavorable opinion. (The rest have no opinion or haven’t heard of him.) That favorable-to-unfavorable ratio is the highest in the GOP camp. And the (positive) word is getting out about him: In the same poll, which was taken in late June, 36 percent of potential Republican primary voters had heard something positive about Ramaswamy last week, behind only Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (40 percent). But while 22 percent of respondents had heard something negative about DeSantis, only 10 percent had heard something negative about Ramaswamy.

But that doesn’t translate into votes, at least not at the rate he needs. While the latest survey of Echelon Insights found Ramaswamy rising double digits nationally, it stands just 4 percent of our poll average. That’s pretty good for a man with no prior political experience, but it’s a far cry from front-runner Trump’s 52 percent.

And ironically, if Ramaswamy ever becomes a genuine threat to Trump, he may lose his biggest advantage. Ramaswamy has so far benefited somewhat from flying under the radar; No one hears anything bad about him because no other candidate really has much reason to attack him. But if that changes, Ramaswamy can probably say goodbye to his impeccable reputation.


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