Why Democrats are standing by Joe Biden

Wed Jul 10 2024
Julie Young (593 articles)
Why Democrats are standing by Joe Biden

Democrats on Capitol Hill have generally aligned themselves with President Biden or refrained from urging him to step down from the race. He is working hard to convince Democratic voters and donors that he is capable of running a successful campaign against, and ultimately defeating, Donald Trump.

His supporters highlight his legislative track record, asserting that it warrants a second term. They believe they can run a campaign based on accomplishments like the infrastructure law and a policy that reduced prescription drug prices. Some argue that it would be unjust to demand his removal from the ticket, considering he emerged victorious in the Democratic primaries, even though he faced no significant competition. Furthermore, the consternation is likely to exacerbate the party’s existing chaos, diverting attention away from Trump.

Progressives and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are strong advocates for Biden as the party’s nominee. They have offered Biden some support as he works to strengthen his campaign after the late June debate that heightened worries about Biden’s age and ability to hold office, pushing his candidacy to the edge.

“I support Biden,” stated Rep. Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.), a prominent ally of Biden and a member of the Black Caucus. Take a look at his track record.

Despite the prevailing anxiety, it is worth noting that out of the 213 House Democrats, a small fraction of seven have openly expressed their support for replacing Biden as the nominee. Several others, including those in highly contested districts, have voiced their apprehension and stated that he must demonstrate his worth to both voters and legislators. Although none of the 51 Democratic senators have advocated for Biden’s resignation, the level of support for him among his former colleagues in the chamber is lukewarm.

“He has been an exceptional president during my lifetime, and we fully support him,” expressed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), a progressive who has voiced concerns about Biden’s approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict and the subsequent humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The primary argument put forth by Democrats is to direct attention towards their opponent. Instead of addressing the reasons why Biden should continue as their nominee, certain Democrats attempted to redirect the focus towards Trump, the previous president and expected Republican nominee.

When asked about Biden, Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.), the vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus, suggested that it would be best for Donald Trump to withdraw from the race.

Prior to Trump’s Tuesday evening rally in Florida, first lady Jill Biden criticized Trump’s stance on abortion and his three Supreme Court appointees who voted against upholding the constitutional right to access the procedure.

Donald Trump is attempting to convey a more moderate stance on reproductive rights to women. Does he believe we have overlooked the fact that his Supreme Court justices played a role in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which he openly boasts about?” The first lady inquired.

If Biden were to withdraw from the race, Vice President Kamala Harris would be the most probable choice to take his place as the Democratic presidential nominee. However, there are other notable Democrats who may vie for the nomination or receive encouragement from donors to pursue it, even if Biden decides to step aside and endorse Harris. Some Democrats believe that the potential chaos could harm the eventual nominee as well as House and Senate candidates.

Some lawmakers supporting Biden highlight his success in the Democratic presidential primary this year. Biden faced minimal Democratic competition, but certain lawmakers have expressed concerns about pressuring him to withdraw from the race, citing fairness to voters.

“The voters have already selected their nominee,” stated Rep. Lou Correa (D., Calif.).

Some argue that it may not be fair to the president, pointing out that Biden has been a loyal Democrat in public service for decades.

I have known Joe Biden for 30 years. According to Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), a longtime Biden ally and national co-chair of his campaign, he is the most accomplished and consequential president in my lifetime. It would be a significant error for the Democratic Party to deviate from their support for him based on just one evening and one debate.

It is argued that it is unfair to assess Biden primarily based on his age and presentation without considering his track record.

“Ageism is not something we prioritize, I would say, as CBC members,” stated Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.). We hold a deep reverence for our elders.

Johnson, a Black lawmaker representing Atlanta’s inner eastern suburbs, mentioned that a few constituents expressed their preference for Biden to step aside. The challenges of doing so would be comparable to switching horses when you’re already three-quarters of the way across the stream.

Lawmakers who have served in Congress with Biden, a former senator from Delaware, highlight a range of achievements that they are campaigning on. These include reducing the cost of insulin to $35, implementing executive actions to expand student loan forgiveness programs, and passing significant gun legislation for the first time in years.

“If we examine the past 3½ years, we can see that this individual has prioritized LGBTQ rights and women’s rights as fundamental pillars of their campaign,” stated Rep. Robert Garcia (D., Calif.).

Contrary to that, Democrats’ internal polling data reveals that their vulnerable incumbents, who are up against challenging races, are currently polling ahead of Biden. Several lawmakers are expressing concerns about the potential impact of a lack of enthusiasm for Biden on the ticket, which they fear could lead to a loss of seats.

Is he an effective campaigner? I’m uncertain. I believe that’s what causes a lot of people to feel uneasy,” stated Representative Julia Brownley (D., California). “However, when it comes to his governing capabilities, I have complete confidence in him.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), who expressed his desire for Biden to be replaced during a private call of Democratic leaders on Sunday, stated on Tuesday that while his concerns persist, they are now irrelevant.

However, Democratic lawmakers who support Biden recognize that they may encounter additional instances of Biden stumbling during the campaign, which can be frustrating. It is evident that Biden’s debate performance was subpar, and despite his subsequent interviews and conversations, concerns about his potential for future mistakes persist.

According to sources familiar with internal House Democratic discussions, there is an anticipation that the number of individuals urging Biden to resign will soon rise.

Some Democrats expressing concern about Biden’s ability to campaign fear that he may not be adequately prepared for the task, potentially jeopardizing the chances of a Trump victory. Biden’s poll numbers against Trump have declined since the debate.

“I have received feedback from individuals in my district who share a common concern for our nation and its future,” stated Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D., N.J.), who has advocated for Biden’s withdrawal. “They seek a leader capable of capitalizing on our achievements while also redirecting the nation’s focus towards the pressing danger posed by Trump to our democracy, our liberties, and our nation.”

Julie Young

Julie Young

Julie Young is a Senior Market Reporter and Analyst. She has been covering stock markets for many years.