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Can Democrats replace Biden as nominee for president?

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks from the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Joe Biden’s performance at the CNN Presidential Debate against former President Donald Trump has some questioning whether he should remain the Democratic nominee for president.

After witnessing Biden’s several verbal missteps Thursday night during the debate, several people took to social media to urge the Democratic Party to replace him as the nominee mere months before the general election in November.

Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang posted to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, urging Democrats to “nominate someone else — before it’s too late.”

Others joined in, calling on the Democratic Party to replace Biden, including conservative media pundit Ann Coulter and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Cruz posted to X that he believes “the odds are now 80% that the Dems dump Biden.”

But replacing Biden is not that simple. Because he won the May Presidential Preference Primary election, delegates to the Democratic National Convention are pledged to support him for the nomination. Plus, the party rules discourage challenging incumbent Democrats within the party.

The Democratic National Convention will be held in August. That’s when the party will officially select its nominee for president.

The issue was a major topic of discussion for CNN panelists after the debate ended Thursday night. Political analyst Van Jones, a special adviser to former President Barack Obama, called Biden’s debate performance “painful” and suggested he should step aside.

“I love Joe Biden. I worked for Joe Biden. He didn’t do well at all,” Jones said on CNN. “He’s doing the best that he can, but he had a test to meet tonight to restore confidence of the country and of the base and he failed to do that.

“There is time for this party to figure out a different way forward if he will allow us to do that.”

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said if Biden chose to withdraw, delegates who were pledged to Biden through the primary election process would then be free to throw their support behind another candidate at the convention.

After the convention, the decision would go to members of the Democratic National Committee.

If Biden did not agree to step aside, delegates could still change their alliances at the convention but things could get messy, Bullock said.

Unless Biden steps aside, the path forward with another candidate is significantly less clear.

Democrats in Georgia remained steadfast in supporting Biden after the debate while avoiding questions about whether Biden should let someone else run.

“The people I’m talking to in the state of Georgia, they’re not focused on style. They’re thinking about their families. They’re thinking about whether or not they can afford childcare so they can get to work,” said Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

“Joe Biden has earned the respect of the American public,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said. “You know, tonight is one night. Biden has shown over the last three and a half years that he’s right there with the American people.”

©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.