Will Biden go bye-then? Who would step in if he drops out?

16 year-old Noah Saphier on the current candidates that could replace Biden on the Democratic ticket

With clips going viral and concerns all over social media, it seems that many Democrats have come to a similar conclusion following the recent presidential debate on June 27; Biden is too old and not in the right mind to run the country for the next four years. And for that reason, he may not be able to win back the trust of Democratic voters over the next four months.

President Joe Biden is currently 81 years-old, and if re-elected will be almost 86 by the end of his second term. Biden’s inability to communicate and express himself stems from a seemingly greater issue than just his stutter, a condition from birth which critics have been quick to question in the past.

One House Democrat called the debate a “disaster,” and Mark Buell, an important donor for the Democrats and the Biden Administration, said that “Democratic leadership has a responsibility to go to the White House and clearly show what America’s thinking, because democracy is at stake here and we’re all nervous”.

On July 7, multiple House Democratic ranking members told Hakeem Jeffries, the House Minority Leader, that the president should step down as the Democratic nominee.

The lawmakers who call for Biden to step down include representatives such as Mark Takano, Adam Smith, Jim Himes, Joe Morelle, Jerry Nadler, and Susan Wild. They fear that his poor performance at the presidential debate harms the chances of the re-election of their party. Additionally, the amount of lawmakers who support Biden as the Democratic nominee is smaller than those who do not support Biden. Democratic representatives Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott were among those who backed Biden.

So what should be Democrats’ next steps? Supporting another Democratic candidate? Overlooking his age and latest actions to go all in on supporting Biden?

A CNN poll shows that only 25% of registered voters said that there was a best chance of winning a Democratic presidency if the nominee was Joe Biden. But, is it too late in the game to switch and get enough support for another candidate?

It is unclear what is next, but what follows is an analysis about the other possible candidates that represent the old school or who are the new kids on the block.

Kamala Harris

An obvious choice for a different Democratic nominee would be Kamala Harris (59), President Biden’s current Vice President (VP) and the first woman, the first South Asian American, and the first black American to be VP of the US. Before, she served as the attorney general of California and later in the US Senate. With her past positions in mind, her experience is undeniable.

Read more:

As Biden flounders, why aren’t more Democrats sold on Kamala Harris?

Despite being deemed as unlikeable, Harris actually is actually performing better in polls than Joe Biden. As to her lack of backing from many Americans, one can compare the situation with Hillary Clinton’s running for office, as it may stem from sexist ideology, with a component of racism.

This may be resulting in her relatively low approval rating of 39%, but we can also consider Biden’s being even lower, at 37%. This may be concerning to Democratic voters, as it means that there is a lower chance that they can bring together enough votes to win office.

Despite this, a recent CNN poll shows that Harris may perform better than Biden against Trump: 47% of registered voters supported Trump and 45% Harris, compared to  Biden’s 43% against Trump’s 49%.

Gavin Newsom

Another possible Democratic nominee could be Gavin Newsom (56), who has served as the Governor of California since 2019.

As Governor, Newsom worked to protect reproductive rights, assist undocumented immigrants with healthcare, and support police reforms to reduce racial profiling. With these in mind, Newsom has the capability of rallying the support of important demographic groups in the upcoming election. However, the recent $46bn deficit in California could diminish support.

Regarding the polls, Newsom got support from 43% of registered voters in the scenario, and Trump 48%. This is worse than Harris but certainly does not mean that he has a much smaller chance of being able to win office considering the public opinion of Harris.

Nevertheless, Newsom remains supportive of Biden even after the debate. He noted during MSNBC’s post-debate coverage, “this president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.”

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg (42) is the previous mayor of South Bend, Indiana and is the current United States Secretary of Transportation. He has been a critic of railways and airlines, while also waging on LGBTQ+ rights, being the first openly gay man to hold a cabinet position. Additionally, he ran for president in 2020 and gained support and national recognition.

Regardless, polls show that 43% of voters in the scenario would vote for Buttigieg, whereas 47% would vote for Trump.

So, what can we expect?

The truth is Americans and the politicians who represent them are becoming more polarised, which makes it difficult to find common ground.

This is what makes this upcoming election crucial for the future of the country. During times of division, despite it being more difficult to do so, people must engage in constructive dialogue. If the presidential candidates for the US, one of if not the most influential and powerful nation in the world, cannot do so, then how can their supporters?

While the presidential debate on June 27 showed more comedy through the shots taken at the two candidates rather than making progress, this necessary conversation is being lost.

Current polls (as of July 7)

Biden (43%) vs Trump (49%)
Harris (45%) vs Trump (47%)
Newsom (43%) vs Trump (48%)
Whitmer (42%) vs Trump (47%)
Buttigieg (43%) vs Trump (47%)

By CNN

Donald Trump,despite being just three years younger than Biden, can talk for sure. Because of this, he is able to clearly express his ideas to the American public. Biden, on the other hand, possibly because of his age or deteriorating health, has shown his inability to express himself.

Many voters are stuck. Should they choose to continue their support for Biden and trust those around him to run the country, vote for an alternative Democratic candidate, or put their head in their hands and shake their head? Over the next four months, Democrats will have to decide.

Biden, on the other hand, has continued to state his will to continue in the race with Kamala Harris by his side. While he was at the Wisconsin rally on July 5, he exclaimed, “let me say it as clear as I can: I’m staying in the race! … I’ll beat Donald Trump.”

And as of July 8, Biden continues to push forward, urging Democrats to support him. A sentiment reflected in a letter he sent to congressional Democrats, stating that he thinks he “absolutely” believes he can beat Donald Trump, and that he is not going to step down as the nominee.

Written by:

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Noah Saphier

Contributor

New Jersey, United States of America

Born in 2007 in New Jersey, Noah Aaron Brühl Saphier studies in Englewood New Jersey, United States of America. He is interested in journalism, science, sports, and history. For Harbingers’ Magazine, he writes about sports, exploration, and global conflicts.

In his free time, Noah plays tennis and the violin, learns about exploration in the ocean and space, and travels. Noah speaks English, Spanish, and German.

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