Democrats considering replacing Biden for 2024 election

President Joe Biden’s performance in the debates raises new questions about whether Democrats will have other options in November if the 81-year-old president is no longer willing or able to campaign.

With Biden already securing a presumptive nomination, the chances of Democrats changing course are diminishing.

Speaking with a hoarse voice and suffering from what aides described as a cold, Biden spoke haltingly and at times rambling on Thursday, a performance that only renewed concerns about his ability to serve four more years. Biden later told reporters he would stay in the race.

“He got louder as the debate went on, but by that point I think panic had set in,” David Axelrod, former campaign strategist for President Barack Obama, told CNN. “And I think you’re going to hear some discussions – which I don’t know if they’ll go anywhere – but there will be discussions about whether he should continue. »

Here’s how those discussions might play out.

Is there a precedent?

Yes. More recently, in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson decided not to seek a second full term as protests against the Vietnam War intensified. In a speech from the Oval Office, Johnson made the surprise announcement: “I will neither seek nor accept the nomination of my party for another term as President.”

But that was in late March, well before the appointments calendar was as busy as it is today. Unlike Johnson, Biden has already secured enough delegates for the nomination.

Can Biden be removed from the ticket?

It would be difficult. Biden faced minimal opposition in his party’s primaries and secured 99% of the delegates pledged to the convention. These delegates will be chosen largely for their loyalty to the president. Barring extraordinary circumstances – and without a contingency plan – they are unlikely to remove him from the list.

Any Biden opponent is expected to announce his candidacy before the formal vote, publicly challenging the incumbent president in a high-stakes coup attempt.

How soon does a decision need to be made?


The Democratic National Committee had already planned to move Biden’s nomination forward by telephone roll call ahead of the convention in order to meet the Aug. 7 deadline for voting in Ohio. The Republican-led Ohio legislature extended that deadline, but Democratic Chairman Jaime Harrison said the party would proceed with the early roll call anyway, making the convention — which begins Aug. 19 — a mere formality.

What if Biden resigns after the convention?

The decision to replace him would be made by members of the DNC. But the party would then face another obstacle: printed ballots with Biden’s name already on them.

Laws vary by state on how a vote for Biden would be counted if he is no longer the nominee, but his votes would likely go to his replacement when the Electoral College meets.

Who are the possible successors?

Vice President Kamala Harris is the most logical heir, but it wouldn’t be automatic.

Other candidates in the running who have defected to Biden and continue to publicly support him include California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

None of those candidates fared better against Trump than Biden, according to a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll of seven key states.

And the money?

Modern presidential campaigns are extremely expensive undertakings, and financial considerations play a significant role.

At the end of May, Biden’s campaign and party had $212 million in cash on hand, and that money would be available to Harris if she takes over the ticket. Any other candidate would probably have to start from scratch.

Biden’s campaign team and the Democratic Party have already spent about $346 million trying to re-elect Biden. Choosing another candidate could require spending even more money to present a new name to voters.

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