Observers say replacing Biden would create 'logistical nightmare' for Democrats

 February 13, 2024

Special Counsel Robert Hur made headlines last week when he cited President Joe Biden's declining mental prowess as a reason not to indict the president for mishandling classified documents.

This, along with Biden's abysmal poll numbers, has left some Democrats seeking a backup plan for 2024.  

Democrats face a set of unattractive options

That fact was acknowledged in a recent article by Politico contributors Charlie Mahtesian and Steven Shepard, who laid out what such a plan would look like.

The pair started by asserting that the only hope Democrats have for getting a new nominee is to convince Biden that he needs to step aside.

They pointed out how "by the end of this month, filing deadlines for primary ballot access will have passed in all but six states and the District of Columbia," something which would preclude the emergency of a surprise candidate.

This has put Biden "on a glide path to the Democratic nomination," meaning that for him to be forcibly removed, delegates who are already pledged to him would have to stage "a highly unlikely" revolt at this summer's convention in Chicago.

Kamala Harris poses "the thorniest issue"

If Biden could be persuaded to act as the party's "kingmaker," then Democrats would next have to figure out what is to be done about Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mahtesian and Shepard insisted that Harris represents "the thorniest issue" Democrats would need to contend with. Although her poll numbers are even worse than Biden's, dropping her carries a risk of alienating African American voters.

Should the challenge presented by Harris be successfully resolved, Democrats would then be forced to find a candidate to rally around, something which is more likely to result in "chaos" rather than party unity.

Replacing Biden would create "a logistical nightmare"

Yet Mahtesian and Shepard acknowledged that those would not be the only challenges as "a late Biden departure from the ticket would pose a logistical nightmare for the states."

This includes the fact that military ballots for those serving overseas "go out in some places just a couple of weeks after the convention ends."

What's more, Mahtesian and Shepard stress that "in-person early voting begins as soon as Sept. 20 in Minnesota and South Dakota."

"Yes, Americans technically vote for electors, not presidential candidates--but any post-convention effort to replace Biden would likely end up in court if votes have already been cast with the name 'Joseph R. Biden Jr.' on the ballot," the pair wrote as they drew to a close.

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