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No one likes rebels in an election year: What could change Biden’s decision to run

No one likes rebels in an election year: What could change Biden’s decision to run

Svitlana Hudkova

After the disastrous debate between Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Donald Trump, the American media has been buzzing about the Democratic Party’s desire to replace the incumbent. Opinion polls also show that voters would prefer that the incumbent not run for a second term.

Zaborona’s editor Svitlana Hudkova analyzed with experts whether the political veteran will concede and who has a better chance of defeating a candidate with multiple convictions.

Failed debates in the United States

The main disappointment of the Biden-Trump debate was the current president. Against his opponent’s background, he looked even older, although Joe is 81 years old and his opponent is 78. At times, Biden lost his train of thought and had difficulty expressing his opinions clearly. There was a general weakness, a hoarse voice, which was later attributed to a cold.

Even during the speech, key donors to the Democratic Party called the debate a disaster and called for action, Politico writes, citing one of the party’s advisers. And one of the party’s largest donors and a Biden supporter said it was his “worst performance ever” and that it was time for the president to end his campaign.

Opinion polls conducted immediately after the debate showed that voters agreed with this view. According to CBS News/YouGov, 45% of Democratic voters believe that President Biden should resign and not run for a second term. And according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult for Axios, about 60% of voters were in favor of changing the candidate.

“I represent the heart of the constituency that Lyndon Johnson once represented. He made the painful decision to leave under very different circumstances. President Biden should do the same,” said Texas Democrat and member of the House of Representatives Lloyd Doggett.

And he is supported by more and more party members. “We are deeply concerned about his [Biden’s] trajectory and his ability to win. We want to give him the opportunity to make a decision (to step aside), but we will be increasingly vocal about our concerns if he doesn’t,” another politician in the lower house of Congress told CNN.

Other Democratic candidates

After the debate, The Washington Post named ten possible candidates to replace Biden:

  • Vice President Kamala Harris
  • Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer
  • Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg
  • Governor of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis
  • Governor of California Gavin Newsom
  • Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear
Vladyslav Faraponov. Photo: Vladyslav Faraponov / Facebook

At the same time, Americanist Vladyslav Faraponov comments to Zaborona that even if the potential Democratic candidates are replaced, they do not significantly change the possible outcome of the election. That is, some polls show that all candidates will lose to Trump with a difference of 3-4%.

“However, the difficulty of such a poll is that all these candidates are very hypothetical. When the poll includes Penny Pritzker’s brother, Illinois Governor Jay Pritzker, it’s hard to say that this is a realistic scenario, it’s very hard for me. And voters look at these scenarios hypothetically as well,” the expert explains.

Oleksandr Krayev. Photo: Oleksandr Krayev / Facebook

And the Democrats are in no hurry to talk about any particular candidate. The fact is that this person will become a sacrificial lamb — Biden may not listen, run for office, and win, and then the potential career of the alternative option will be crossed out. “No one likes rebels in an election year,” summarizes Oleksandr Krayev, an Americanist and expert at the Ukrainian Prism Foreign Policy Council.

How to remove Biden from the election race?

Both experts are convinced that it will be extremely difficult to replace the current president’s candidacy. In general, the procedure exists, says Krayev, but it can only be launched if Biden himself wants to withdraw.

“The Democratic Party cannot just say that they are withdrawing a candidate who won the primaries and is supported by the majority of voters. Firstly, it is technically impossible, and secondly, it is quite resonant. But if Biden himself wants to withdraw, there are potential candidates and options for doing so. For example, during the party congress: then there will be additional debates and voting. Or after it: then the party’s central committee will simply choose a person to replace Biden. But without his personal consent, it’s impossible to pull this off,” explains the Ukrainian Prism Foreign Policy Council expert.

If Biden does want to withdraw from the race, then, according to Faraponov, the current president should resign. “But I don’t think this can happen a few months before the election. Joe Biden is a politician with 50 years of experience, and he is unlikely to want to go down in history with such baggage. Without the will of Joe Biden himself, it is impossible to replace him,” adds the Americanist.

And so far, there are no signals that anything can change Biden’s desire to run: he was supported by his family, his team, and he himself said he would continue to run.

“Therefore, if nothing happens to Biden himself, if this debate is his last failure, then there is nothing to suggest that he will have any reason to withdraw his candidacy,” Krayev said.

Biden’s chances of winning

Interestingly, the debate had virtually no effect on the electorate’s preferences. According to the Ipsos poll, 46.7% of potential voters are ready to vote for Biden, which is 1.6 percentage points lower than before the debate. Support for Trump has hardly changed, rising from 43.5% to just 43.9%.

Oleksandr Krayev notes that despite the talk, the party does not have a politician of the level that can defeat Trump. In this regard, the current president is irreplaceable.

“Biden has a chance to defeat Trump. Interestingly, before the debate, the ratings showed 52% for Trump and 48% for Biden. And after the debate, the situation changed, oddly enough, in favor of the current president — 46% versus 43% for Trump. That is, Biden has a 3% advantage, and he still feels quite stable,” the Americanist notes.

It is quite possible that on July 21, 2024, the National Committee of the U.S. Democratic Party will put an end to this issue and officially nominate Joe Biden at a virtual meeting to put an end to intra-party talks about his replacement.

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