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Poll Shows Voters Want Biden to Drop Out. His Family Is Telling Him to Continue.

Democratic insiders recognize that either option — staying with Biden or finding a new candidate — comes with concerns.

President Joe Biden speaks on the phone while walking from Marine One to board Air Force One before departing McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey on June 29, 2024.

Fresh off the weekend following his disastrous presidential debate performance against GOP nominee former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s family is encouraging him to remain in the contest despite increasingly loud calls for him to drop out.

According to a report from The New York Times, which cited individuals familiar with the conversations, Biden’s family — led by his son, Hunter Biden, and First Lady Jill Biden — are claiming that Biden could be an effective president for another four years, despite being “acutely aware” of his dismal performance during Thursday night’s debate.

The family, including other children and grandchildren, met at Camp David this weekend to take photographs in preparation for the Democratic National Convention in August. But the family also discussed Biden’s ability to continue the campaign, according to The Times, with most family members agreeing that Biden should remain in the race.

“The entire family is united,” a source with knowledge of their discussions told The Times.

The report noted that serious discussions on whether Biden should continue his run would likely resume in a more private setting, and that a final decision hadn’t been made.

Despite the Biden family’s insistence that the president stay in the race, the American voting public largely disagrees, many citing concerns about his cognitive health.

A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted this past weekend shows that a vast majority of voters (72 percent) believe that Biden should not run for president again in wake of his stumbling debate performance, with less than 3 in 10 voters (just 28 percent) saying he should. Those numbers are down from February, when the same question was asked at the start of the Democratic primary election season, and 36 percent said he should run.

There’s a noticeable split among voters who are registered as Democrats, according to the poll, with 55 percent of Democratic voters backing Biden as the nominee but a sizable portion, 45 percent, saying someone else should be selected.

Further evidence of a rift within Democratic circles has been noted by numerous media outlets. According to CNN, dozens of Democratic insiders who spoke to the network are “terrified” by all possible scenarios, including Biden remaining the nominee, Vice President Kamala Harris taking his spot if he chooses to leave, or scrambling to find another candidate if Harris, too, passes on running for president.

“It would be a Category 5 hurricane. People don’t understand the sheer destruction that would be unleashed,” one insider told CNN.

Others struck a more optimistic tone.

“I think we can absolutely swap and win” against Trump, a Democratic donor said. “If Joe Biden’s the nominee, we’re all in. If someone else is the nominee, we’re all in.”

The fallout from the debate is already noticeable in other national polling. According to an aggregate of survey data compiled by FiveThirtyEight, on the day before the debate took place, the two candidates were nearly tied, with Trump attaining 41.0 percent of the vote, on average, versus Biden receiving 40.9 percent. But just a few days out, there’s been a noticeable increase in support for Trump — as of Monday, 41.8 percent of voters now back the GOP candidate, per the FiveThirtyEight average, with just 40.4 percent supporting the current president.

Those numbers are still within the margin of error for those polls. But if the trend continues, it could demonstrate that Democrats’ best shot at retaining the White House is to encourage Biden to exit the race to make way for a candidate more capable of defeating Trump.

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