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Is Biden Out? Democrats Consider a New Candidate After Debate Loss

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

Calls for replacing the candidate are growing both inside and outside the Democratic Party after President Joe Biden of the United States suffered a significant defeat in the first televised debate against former President Donald Trump. In an interview with Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow in Governance Studies and the director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution, Reuters reported on Sunday that while replacing the candidate is possible, it could lead to substantial confusion.

3 ways to replace Biden

Until being nominated at the Democratic National Convention in August, Biden is not the official candidate.

Therefore, Biden could either voluntarily resign before he is nominated, be challenged by others who try to win over the delegates he has accrued or withdraw after the Democratic convention in Chicago in August, leaving the Democratic National Committee to elect another candidate to run against Trump in his place.

However, Biden expressed his intention to compete after the TV debate, and there are no signs of independent action from potential replacement candidates like Vice President Kamala Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom, who are defending Biden.

If Biden steps down

Biden accrued nearly 4,000 delegates by winning primary elections in U.S. states and territories. While delegates are generally expected to vote for Biden, they are not bound to do so as they have the freedom to vote with their conscience. Therefore, they can also choose a replaced candidate. If Biden voluntarily resigns, other candidates can compete for the nomination.

Possible Replacements for Biden

There are no apparent number-one figures in the Democratic Party who will replace Biden. Harris is currently at the top of the list but has been struggling with poor polling. The U.S. Constitution dictates that the vice president serves as president in case of a presidential vacancy. Still, it does not weigh in on an inter-party process for selecting a nominee.

California Governor Newsom, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker have all been floated as possible replacements. Still, they are Biden supporters and campaign surrogates who are working to help him get elected now.

How Candidates Are Selected

To be nominated, candidates must earn signatures from 600 convention delegates. There are expected to be some 4,672 delegates in 2024.

Suppose no one secures a majority of the delegates. In that case, there will be a “brokered convention” in which the delegates act as free agents and negotiate with the party leadership to choose a nominee.

It could take several rounds of voting for someone to get a majority and become the nominee.

If Biden Resigns After the Convention

If Biden voluntarily steps down after the August convention, the 435 members of the DNC will select a new candidate. They must hold a special meeting to do so.

Who Are the 435 DNC Members

They are divided equally between men and women and various constituency groups, including labor leaders, LGBTQ representatives, and racial minorities. Of the total, 75 are appointed at-large by the chair, while the rest are elected from their respective states.

How Are Alternative Candidates Nominated

To be nominated as Biden’s replacement, one must receive the support of at least 60 DNC members, but the DNC’s Rules Committee determines the exact number.

There would likely be nominating speeches and seconding speeches. Multiple candidates could be nominated.

How Is Voting Carried Out

The DNC will likely hold its meeting in Washington, where the vote count will occur. The ballots would be coded, signed, and collected manually. If a vote occurs very close to Election Day on Nov. 5, when an in-person meeting is impossible, it will likely be conducted online.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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