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Biden Demands Lawmakers End Their Calls for Him to Drop Out

Polls show that a plurality of Democratic-leaning voters want a new candidate to be the party’s nominee.

President Joe Biden looks on as he speaks during a barbecue for active-duty military families in honor of the Fourth of July on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2024.

President Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2024 election, spent much of Monday reiterating that he will remain in the presidential race despite widespread calls from Democratic-leaning voters for him to drop out due to concerns regarding his mental acuity.

Since Biden’s disastrous debate performance last week, party insiders and Democratic voters have called into question his ability to press forward as the nominee, with reports revealing that Biden is only “dependably engaged” for a few hours of the day, and journalists saying that he often has “bad days.”

After a weekend of campaigning and media interviews failed to quell concerns regarding his competence, Biden sent a letter on Monday to the House of Representatives, where at least nine Democratic lawmakers have already called on him to step aside. (Many others are expected to do so in the coming days.)

Biden’s letter forcefully rejected calls for him to drop out.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden wrote.

Biden claimed that a “lack of clarity” over whether he’s the candidate “only helps [GOP candidate for president Donald] Trump and hurts us.” He also stated that he has “heard the concerns that people have — their good faith fears and worries about what is at stake in this election.”

“I am not blind to them,” Biden added — a dubious claim, given that he responded to an interview question this past weekend by saying that he wasn’t even sure if he had watched his own debate performance.

“The voters — and the voters alone — decide the nominee of the Democratic Party. How can we stand for democracy in our nation if we ignore it in our own party?” the incumbent president went on in his letter.

Biden reiterated his stance in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Monday. During that show, Biden — who has been a Democratic party insider for nearly five decades — bizarrely blamed “elites” for suggesting that he should drop out, and claimed that the “average voter” still wants him to run.

“I’m confident they do,” Biden said, despite the fact that polling has repeatedly indicated otherwise.

To those calling for him to drop out, Biden issued a challenge:

If any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me. Go announce for president, challenge me at the convention.

None of Biden’s primary talking points hold up to scrutiny, commentators have noted.

On the issue of “democracy,” Biden has claimed that he was duly elected to be the Democratic nominee. While this is technically true, no other viable candidate ran against him, which is typical when incumbent presidents announce they’re running for a second term.

The Democratic National Committee announced during the primary season that it would not host any debates between Biden and other Democratic candidates, creating major obstacles for any potential challengers. Meanwhile, some states canceled their primary elections outright — a move that not only prevented alternative Democratic candidates from running against Biden, but also prevented voters from casting their ballots as “uncommitted” in protest of Biden’s role in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Also contradicting Biden’s “democracy” argument are several polls that suggest a majority of voters want candidates besides Biden to run for the Democratic nomination — this was true even before his debate performance, but the rate increased afterward, with nearly three-quarters of voters (72 percent) saying as much, according to one post-debate survey. In a more recent Florida Atlantic University poll, published mid-last week, a plurality of Democratic-leaning voters, 45 percent, also said that Biden should be replaced by a stronger candidate, with only 40 percent saying he should remain the nominee.

On his “elites” claims, several pundits have pointed out that Biden’s complaints contradict the fact that he himself has been an elite within the Democratic Party for several decades.

“It’s somewhat amusing that Biden who has been part of the Democratic elite for nearly 50 years has found them as the new enemy,” wrote Taegan Goddard on his Political Wire website, noting that elites in the party were instrumental to preventing challengers from running against Biden.

“The vast majority of average voters feel Biden is too old. It’s the ‘elites’ who probably put too much faith in Biden and were convinced that his age wouldn’t be a problem,” Goddard added.

Political journalist Gabe Fleisher also noted that Biden’s “elites” claim holds little weight.

“It’s kind of funny that Biden spent the morning railing against ‘elites’ — and then immediately ran to take questions from his biggest donors… even as he hasn’t taken questions from voters in a town hall event since 2021,” Fleisher wrote on X.

Finally, Biden’s insistence that someone should simply “challenge” him at next month’s convention ignores the reality of just how difficult that would be. Delegates have already been chosen based on the primaries, and are supposed to vote for candidates they’re pledged to in “good conscience” at the convention. And while they can decide to ignore their vote for Biden, those delegates are selected by the Biden campaign itself, making it very unlikely that they will choose not to back him.

If Biden dropped out of the race voluntarily, delegates would no longer be committed to him, and could vote for other options without worrying about the “good conscience” standard. This would likely result in a brokered convention, where multiple ballots would be required to find someone who would attain a majority delegate vote within the four-day convention. That candidate would have three months to run against Trump in the general campaign.

Some Democrats are worried that a new nominee wouldn’t have enough time to convince voters that they’d be a better alternative to Trump. Indeed, it would be unprecedented for a nominee to drop out in the primary stage of selecting presidential candidates.

However, most democracies in the world have much shorter timeframes for their elections than the United States, demonstrating that it’s not impossible for candidates to make their case in a shorter time span. Furthermore, most voters who are currently backing Biden are only doing so in order to prevent a Trump presidency, meaning that they likely wouldn’t change their minds with a new Democratic candidate.

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