Democrats Flounder as Biden Struggles, Trump Campaign Flourishes

Democrats scrambling to replace President Joe Biden after last week’s debate might as well be trying to juggle flaming torches: time is running out, funds are dwindling, and options are as scarce as a sensible Democrat policy.

Democrats are set to rubber-stamp their sleepwalking standard-bearer through a virtual roll call soon enough, even before their August convention. Even if they could miraculously unite around a replacement just months before November’s election, they’d be up against fundraising and organizing hurdles so huge that trying to leap them would give even the most seasoned Democrat vertigo. Unlike the Democrats, former President Donald Trump isn’t exactly strapped for cash or campaign savvy.

After last week’s debate disaster, Biden’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and their leadership haven’t exactly offered soothing words to their frazzled base. Former Democratic strategist Christopher Hahn thinks Biden should bow out, suggesting there are plenty of Democrats who might stand a better shot against Trump. It is too bad that replacing him is structurally and politically complicated, according to Northeastern University’s resident political science sage.

Here’s the rub: the Democrats would need a candidate who could credibly challenge Trump, but right now, that person doesn’t exist in their motley crew. An open convention could turn into a circus, and campaign finance rules tie Biden’s hands when it comes to transferring his dwindling fortunes. Sure, Vice President Kamala Harris might get a slice of that pie, but her favorability is a less dire whisker than Biden’s.

In a panicked email titled “7 Things To Tell Your Friends After The Debate,” Biden's deputy campaign manager labeled the internal critics as the “bedwetting brigade.” He warned that swapping out Biden would gift Trump a red carpet straight back to the White House. Flaherty declared that Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, period. Dropping out now would launch their party into chaos, leaving them to limp along to a convention while Trump talks to voters unfettered. By the end of it, they’d be broke, divided, and downright unelectable.

Polling data shows voters preferring Trump over Biden and Harris in matchups, leaving Dems with only Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer polling somewhat competitively. But Whitmer quickly distanced herself from any fantasy that she might replace Biden, leaving a depressing 12-point drop in support for Biden amongst Democrats since March hanging over the party like a dark cloud.

Two-thirds of voters think Biden’s too old for the job, compared to Trump, who only a third think is past his prime. More voters are concerned about Biden’s health than are troubled by Trump’s legal scrapes. If the polls hold, Biden is still the best shot Democrats have got, a fact as depressing for them as it is amusing for Trump supporters.

Democratic experts argue that Biden’s massive campaign infrastructure can’t just be handed over to another candidate easily. Despite his faults on the campaign trail, Biden has surrounded himself with capable advisors who, they argue, might help him govern but aren’t helping him win hearts and minds on the stump. Meanwhile, reports indicate internal finger-pointing within the Biden camp, blaming his poor debate performance on overpreparation by his staff but trusting a Democratic strategist to deflect blame onto the player instead of the coach.

Hankin suggests Biden might step aside only if he himself decides he is too big a distraction, echoing a sentiment many Americans probably share – they’d be better off if neither Biden nor Trump were running. That leaves the question of who would take over and how they could do it, with no clear, feasible option in sight.

As if things couldn’t get more farcical, the Democrats are set to hold a virtual roll call early due to Ohio’s election law kerfuffle. Cue the Biden campaign’s desperate ad blitz and fundraising maximizations to paint last week’s fiasco positively.

The Democrats’ upcoming show promises continued comedic relief for anyone watching from the right as their circus marches on.

Written by Staff Reports

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