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Early in the race popular Chelsea Clinton emerged as the front runner, winning the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary as well as leading in several polls around the country. In the Michigain primary, however, Chelsea Clinton, who was again victorious in Wyoming, causing de Blasio's campaign to run a series of attack ads vilifying Clinton's record as a Senator , including de Blasio's language he used on the campaign trail . Then, on Super Tuesday, de Blasio suffered another blow, as Terry McCauliffe won three of the seven states holding primaries to Chelsea's two states (de Blasio also won two states). In a bitter campaign, Chelsea immensely won the nomination over de Blasio, and chose Shelia Simon as her running mate.
The 2028 Republican Party primary was a four-way race between former Wisconsin Governor Paul Ryan, Former Speaker of The House John Boehner, Former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell , and Former Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory. Paul Ryan, who had been the party's nominee in 2024, won the nomination handily, although he faced large opposition from Boehner early in the race. Ryan chose Former Governor Bob McDonnell as his running mate.(1)
Rand Paul, the Libertarian Party's 2028 nominee was the only candidate in his primary. He chose Gary Johnson as his running mate
As the respective party conventions came to a close and the fall campaign began, it became apparent that while Republican candidates usually do not have much of a chance of getting elected, the Ryan-McDonnell ticket posed significant competition to the Democratic and Libertarian candidates. By late August, Ryan was running 48% in the polls, just two points behind Democratic nominee Chelsea Cinton and nearly ten points ahead of Paul. Ryan campaigned on a platform of Clinton being too Socialist, saying "Liberalism doesn't have to be crazy". He lambasted Clinton for taking such an extreme stance on many social issues, calling her "an enemy of Americans" and promising to uphold the social progress made under the Democratic administrations. These claims were discredited by the Clinton campaign, which cited Paul's past support of Conservative candidate in 2024 Marco Rubio and claimed that it was the true torch bearer of the advances made under Presidents Obama and Clinton. Clinton's primary appeal was with the traditional Democratic base, while Ryan managed to win over the white working class voters who had supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 2020.
In the first presidential debate, Clinton and Ryan battered away at eachother, and Ryan accused Cinton of cheating on her party and going to the Socialist Party. In responce, Clinton painted Ryan as an Extremeist and a failed Governor, noting that "even Wisconsin doesn't want Paul Ryan. By contrast, Paul appeared more composed and out of the fray, contributing to his brief rise in the polls. In the second debate, however, Paul emerged as the victor, and polls taken two days after showed him leading both Clinton and Ryan by 8 percent. In the 3rd debate, Clinton and Paul emerged nearly tied, with Ryan extremely ahead, with Ryan at 54%, Paul with 23%, and Clinton with 23%.
Ryan won the election 325 electoral votes and 59% of the popular votes, becoming the first Republican in 4 years to be elected president.