Joe Biden

The risks of a change of candidate are greater than the risk of Biden staying in the presidential race

Date: June 29, 2024.
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US President Joe Biden's team really had no choice but to say something other than that "he has no plans to drop out of the race" the day after the TV debate on CNN.

Despite the significant issue at hand, President Biden continued his campaign in North Carolina as scheduled on Friday, aiming to project a sense of coherence and confidence.

He did not ignore it because, once again, he had no other choice but to continue with what he had started, despite this distraction that focused all attention on the other side.

“I intend to win this election. When you get knocked down, you get back up,” said Joe Biden, indicating that he was aware of his poor performance in the first of two televised debates with Donald Trump.

The first question that arises from Biden’s position is whether he will be the one to decide whether to remain the Democratic presidential nominee.

The answer to this question, which the Democrats must find together with Biden very soon, is the first of a series of major risks they have been facing since Thursday night.

Biden decides on his own candidacy

President Biden is largely right, because according to the rules of candidacy, he really does decide whether or not he will enter the race for a new presidential candidacy in November.

He won virtually all 4,000 Democratic Party delegates in the primaries, who will make the final decision on the presidential candidate at the party convention in Chicago in August.

If Biden withdraws from the candidacy, Democrats are entering uncharted territory

All of them are obligated to cast the final vote for Biden. But if he withdraws from the candidacy, Democrats are entering uncharted territory, effectively being left to their own devices to vote for someone who is not yet visible for the nomination.

The fact that an unofficial race for Biden's replacement, which had previously existed but was much more hidden and without major ambitions, became official on Thursday evening presents another risk for the Democrats and Biden.

The underground race for the presidential nomination

Whether they intended to or not, Democrats have been in the "underground" race for the presidential nomination since Thursday night, and the contenders are running out of sympathy to support Biden for a second term because they feel as though the door to their greatest career success has suddenly opened for them.

These genies are hard, almost impossible, to keep in a bottle, and that means a lot of foul blood within the Democratic Party between now and the party convention in August.

There are estimates that the Democrats have plenty of time to find a replacement for Joe Biden and still go into the race with Trump with plenty of stability. However, within that expectation lies another major risk to the Democrats' ambitions to keep the White House, and that risk stems from the previous one.

The party convention in Chicago is less than two months away, which seems to be enough time for a major shift

The party convention in Chicago is less than two months away, which seems to be enough time for such a major shift, making the calculations about the "good timing" of the TV debate illusory.

The ongoing search for a suitable alternative is a more appropriate term for the ongoing conflicts between contenders and their respective support groups, which are unlikely to resolve within the next two months.

Peace and compromise cannot bring them to an end. They can only end with the Democratic Party falling into "civil war," as Edward Luce of The Financial Times saw the development if Joe Biden decides to step down.

Loss of support from moderate Republicans

Immediately following the conclusion of the Democratic Convention on August 20, a multitude of risks await, irrespective of the final decision. Whether Joe Biden emerges as the official presidential nominee or someone else (if Biden withdraws), the Democratic nominee faces severe damage in the forthcoming race against Donald Trump.

Many researchers are right when they say that the televised debates between the presidential candidates in the USA have long ceased to be an event that decisively influences the outcome of the election, even if a tiny number of voters "flip" in their decision.

Joe Biden Campaign 2024
Leaving Joe Biden in the race, with all his flaws and the widespread belief that he is unfit for the office, is less risky for the Democrats than starting the search for an alternative candidate today

However, the Democrats' issue with the recent Biden-Trump debate is that it did not conclude on Thursday night. The problem is that its echo has become a first-class political issue.

Comments and assessments (including this one) stemming from Biden's poor performance have taken precedence over all other campaign issues and will likely remain so until November.

Under these conditions, and this is the next risk associated with the possible change of the Democratic presidential candidate, the support of moderate Republicans, who have already cancelled their support for Trump and are expected to vote for Biden, will inevitably decline. This is an electorate that Biden and his team had high expectations for and invested heavily in mobilising them.

If they begin searching for a new candidate, they can say goodbye to the support of moderate Republicans who will abstain because it would be too much for them, even if it is a "protest vote."

In the hours and first days after the TV debate, the Democrats seem to be in a lose-lose position for a reason. But what has prevented them from having a more serious discussion about their boss's ability to run for another term, which is why they reached this point, could help them break the deadlock.

It is a fact that they still have the current President of the United States, and he, not someone else, should be seeking a new mandate in the November elections.

Leaving Joe Biden in the race, with all his flaws and the widespread belief that he is unfit for the office, is less risky for the Democrats than starting the search for an alternative candidate today.

This pertains to the potential risks associated with the 2028 election, which Democrats should begin considering from Thursday night onward.

Source TA, Photo: Shutterstock