As the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, there are increasing calls for US President Joe Biden to resign due to his dismal performance in a presidential debate versus Republican nominee Donald Trump. Biden’s shaky performance in the June 27 debate has cast doubt on his capacity to serve as president for a further four years. Throughout the debate, Biden occasionally seemed tired or perplexed and occasionally lost his train of thought.

Impact of the Debate on Biden

Biden’s performance in the debates has increased skepticism about his ability to win the November presidential contest. This compounds the already-existing discontent with the way his government has handled matters like the war in Gaza, inflation, and immigration along the southern border with Mexico. Following the debate, voters’ confidence in Biden’s mental health declined from 28% to 20%, according to an Ipsos poll. Voters’ tastes have historically shifted in favor of the better speaker as a result of presidential debates.

As per the study conducted by the Brookings Institution, there was an average shift of 3.5 points in voter preferences towards Trump following the debate. Trump had a 1.5-point advantage over Biden on average before the debate. Following the discussion, support for both candidates was tied at 40% of voters, according to another Ipsos survey. Experts stress that in a highly divided nation, even slight changes could have a significant impact on the outcome of a close election.

Democrats Calling for Biden’s Replacement

Within the Democratic Party, five members of the US House of Representatives have called for Biden to step aside: Representatives Seth Moulton (Massachusetts), Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Raul Grijalva (Arizona), Mike Quigley (Illinois), and Angie Craig (Minnesota). On Sunday, a separate group of Democrats at a virtual meeting convened by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (New York) discussed how to pressure Biden to step aside, according to The Associated Press.

What Happens if Biden Drops Out?

It is nearly unprecedented for a nominee to step down so close to the elections. If Biden does step down, Democrats would have to field another candidate. Biden could nominate Vice President Kamala Harris to continue, but her approval ratings are not much higher than Biden’s, raising doubts about her ability to defeat Trump. However, Harris would inherit Biden’s campaign funds, whereas other nominees would start from scratch.

The party may choose to nominate a different candidate if Biden resigns before to the Democratic National Convention in August. The last time Democrats employed this strategy was in 1968, shortly before the convention, following the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. By using the 25th Amendment, which enables the Vice President and a majority of Congress to proclaim the President unfit for office, the Democratic Party may also remove Biden from office. A two-thirds majority vote in Congress would be required to decide this if the President challenges it.

Potential Replacements for Biden

Kamala Harris, the 59-year-old vice president, is an obvious choice and probably the front-runner. Harris, a senator from California and former prosecutor, may have more clout with younger people and communities of color because she is of Indian and Jamaican ancestry. She might draw in more female voters because she is an outspoken supporter of abortion rights. Her approval numbers aren’t all that higher than Trump’s or Biden’s, though. According to an Ipsos poll, 43% of voters would back Harris. She received a 37 percent approval rating in another 538 poll.

Gavin Newsom

Governor Newsom of California has been a longtime campaign surrogate for Biden-Harris and has recently campaigned for them in swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. Newsom had previously voiced ambitions to run in the 2028 elections but is now being considered as a potential replacement for Biden. Some have also suggested a Harris-Newsom ticket in November. Ipsos polled him at 39 percent.

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Whitmer of Michigan, a battleground state, is a star of the Democratic Party. She gained fame in 2020 after clashing with then-President Trump over her strict COVID-19 lockdown policies. Her popularity in Michigan was cemented after she won 52 percent of the vote in the 2022 elections. Ipsos showed that 36 percent of US voters would elect Whitmer if she were on the ticket.

JB Pritzker

Governor Pritzker of Illinois has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Biden due to his ability to take on Trump. He gained attention after his attacks on Trump during the former president’s criminal trial in New York. Pritzker, from one of the US’s wealthiest families, holds progressive policies on issues like abortion, minimum wage, and healthcare access. According to Ipsos, 34 percent of voters would choose Pritzker.

Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro, who previously served as the state’s attorney general, comfortably won his election in the mid-Atlantic swing state in 2022. He has maintained positive approval ratings and is seen as a level-headed leader, an advantage for Democrats over Trump in a battleground state. However, Shapiro’s passionate support for Israel amid the Gaza war could split voters. Shapiro saw a 57 percent approval rating in a May poll by Siena College and local media.

The debate has significantly impacted Biden’s campaign, leading to calls for his replacement within the Democratic Party. Potential candidates like Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, JB Pritzker, and Josh Shapiro are being considered as alternatives. The situation remains fluid, and the upcoming Democratic National Convention will be crucial in determining the party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential election.

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Riya Sen, an experienced editor at Atom News, is passionate about health and politics reporting. Riya Sen commitment to promoting well-being and highlighting political developments adds a valuable dimension to our coverage, ensuring our readers stay informed and engaged in current affairs.