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Democrats Rally Behind Biden After Debate, Reject Calls for Replacement

Biden, Democrats, election, Trump, debate
U.S. President Joe Biden takes a call as he walks from Marine One to Air Force One with first lady Jill Biden and granddaughters Natalie Biden and Finnegan Biden in Burlington County, New Jersey, U.S., REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Despite President Joe Biden’s shaky debate performance against Donald Trump, top Democrats are standing firmly behind their 81-year-old nominee for the 2024 presidential election. Party leaders are urging members to focus on the potential consequences of a second Trump presidency rather than considering a replacement candidate.

Polls shows increase in Democrats who believe Biden shouldn’t run

Following Thursday’s debate, concerns about Biden’s age and fitness for office intensified. A CBS poll revealed a 10% increase in Democrats who believe Biden shouldn’t be running, now at 46%. Some, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, have called for Biden to withdraw “for the good of the nation.”

However, prominent Democrats are pushing back against these suggestions. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia dismissed the idea of replacing Biden, stating, “Bad debates happen.” House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries acknowledged the setback but framed it as “a setup for a comeback.”

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware emphasised Biden’s unique position to defeat Trump, calling him “the only Democrat who can beat Donald Trump.” This sentiment echoes throughout the party leadership, who view Biden as crucial to preventing Trump’s return to office.

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Biden spends time with family

Meanwhile, Biden spent Sunday at Camp David with family members, including his wife Jill and son Hunter. The New York Times reported that Biden’s family is encouraging him to stay in the race, though some privately expressed frustration with his debate preparation.

The debate itself saw Biden stumbling over words and appearing less sharp than usual, while Trump repeated several false claims about immigration, abortion, and the 2020 election. Trump’s supporters, including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, praised his performance as “probably the best debate of his political career.”

As the election draws closer, Democrats face the challenge of addressing concerns about Biden’s age and performance while maintaining a united front against Trump. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether Biden can overcome these doubts and secure a second term, or if calls for a change in Democratic leadership will gain traction.

With inputs from Reuters