Former Top Democrats Support Biden Amid Dropout Calls

Former Top Democrats Support Biden Amid Dropout Calls

In the midst of growing concerns and calls for President Joe Biden to step aside from the 2024 presidential race, several former top Democrats have rallied to support him, emphasizing the importance of unity within the party. The recent wave of criticism, sparked by dismal polling numbers, has led to a heated debate among Democratic strategists and officials about Biden’s viability as the party’s nominee.

David Axelrod, the chief strategist behind Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, recently suggested that Biden should consider withdrawing from the race to allow a more electable candidate to step forward. This sentiment echoes the worries of many within the party who fear a repeat of the 2020 election, but with a less favorable outcome this time around.

Despite these concerns, Biden has shown no signs of stepping down. His campaign team remains unfazed by the New York Times/Siena College poll indicating that he is trailing behind former President Donald Trump in five out of six key swing states. Biden’s advisors argue that it is too early to panic, drawing parallels to Obama’s 2011 re-election campaign, which also faced grim polling numbers but ultimately resulted in victory.

Jim Messina, who managed Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, pointed out that the economic challenges faced by Obama were far greater than those currently confronting Biden. He believes that once the Republican nominee is decided, the dynamics of the race will shift in Biden’s favor.

Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, highlighted the strong operational groundwork laid by the campaign to mobilize the coalition of voters that secured Biden’s victory in 2020. A source close to the Biden team dismissed Axelrod’s comments, noting his long-standing criticism of Biden.

However, the unease within the party is palpable. Democratic officials and strategists have voiced concerns about Biden’s messaging and missed opportunities to solidify his lead in swing states. A senior Democratic aide described the situation as a “five-alarm fire,” emphasizing the need for a stronger candidate.

Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan has urged Biden to spend more time in her state, where Trump currently leads by five percentage points. Dingell believes that increased attention and resources in Michigan are crucial for securing a win in 2024.

Biden’s economic message, centered around “Bidenomics,” has not resonated as hoped. Polls indicate that voters still trust Republicans more on economic issues. Representative Ro Khanna of California criticized the party’s failure to lead on the economy, given Biden’s record and the Republicans’ focus on tax breaks for the wealthy and cuts to education.

The recent conflict in Gaza has also posed challenges for Biden. His support for Israel’s counterattacks has sparked backlash from within the party, with several progressive lawmakers calling for a ceasefire. The divisions over this issue are reminiscent of the Vietnam War debate, which led to President Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to seek re-election in 1968.

A former Iowa Democratic official warned that the ongoing violence in Gaza could lead to a nationwide effort to force Biden out of office. The official urged Biden to listen to his long-time supporters before it is too late.

Despite the internal strife, the structural barriers to replacing Biden at this stage are significant. Filing deadlines for key primaries have already passed, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is firmly aligned with Biden. Any changes to the primary calendar or the nomination process would require approval from the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, which is dominated by Biden allies.

If Biden were to step aside, Vice President Kamala Harris would be the natural successor. However, her low approval ratings could lead to a contested primary, potentially alienating Black voters and dividing the party.

Representative Khanna dismissed the idea of finding a more popular candidate, stating that Biden still polls higher in swing states than any other potential contender. He suggested that unless someone like Michelle Obama were to run, Biden remains the best option.

Some Democrats believe that a Biden-less ballot might be the party’s best chance at victory. A progressive leader argued that if Biden loses to Trump, he would be seen as selfish and responsible for potentially dooming democracy. The leader emphasized that Biden has a critical decision to make.

As the 2024 election approaches, the Democratic Party faces a challenging path. While some call for new leadership, others remain steadfast in their support for Biden, believing that he is the best candidate to lead the party to victory.

Source: NBC News

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