North Dakota governor enters 2024 GOP presidential primary

 June 8, 2023

A new candidate has entered the 2024 GOP presidential primary, and it's someone not many people expected to get in the race, or even heard of in many cases.

North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burnum announced his candidacy on Wednesday in Fargo, North Dakota, joining former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and a number of other candidates almost as unknown as he is.

"To unlock the best of America, we need a leader who's clearly focused on three things: economy, energy, and national security. And that is why today I'm officially announcing I'm running for the president," Burgum said.

Burgum expounded on his reasons for running in a Wall Street Journal op-ed also published on Wednesday:

When I ran for governor in 2016, we shook up the political establishment — then cut more than a billion dollars in spending, balanced the budget, unleashed energy production, and diversified the economy. This year we achieved pension reform, helped pass term limits, and enacted the biggest tax cut in state history.

Hard work ahead

Burgum needs to poll at 1% in three polls, either national or a combination of state and national, to be included in GOP primary debates, so he's got some work to do if he wants the chance to gain national recognition.

As of now, Burgum's name has not even appeared in many polls, since his entry into the race was rather unexpected and not well-reported-on.

He was an underdog in the governor's race in 2016, so he may feel that he can repeat that success in the presidential primary.

Burgum is one of three billionaires in the race. The other two are Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur who has not polled above 1-2% in most polls.

Field getting crowded

He is the third candidate to jump into the race this week, after former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Burgum brings the number of declared candidates to 12, but who knows how many more relative unknowns could be lurking in the shadows thinking they have a chance?

Trump is by far the frontrunner right now, with an average on polling site FiveThirtyEight of almost 54%.

DeSantis comes in second with 21%, a slight uptick since he launched his run two weeks ago but not the upward trajectory he probably hoped for.

Bottom tier

None of the other candidates is polling much over four percent, and Burgum will likely join this bottom tier unless he can quickly distinguish himself from the pack.

It's a long shot, but stranger things have happened.

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