Fahrenthold: Biden will not be the Democratic nominee following ‘disastrous’ debate

Jul 2, 2024, 8:50 AM | Updated: 9:09 am

biden democratic nominee...

President of the United States Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump participate in the first Presidential Debate at CNN Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on June 27, 2024. (Photo: Kyle Mazza, Getty Images)

(Photo: Kyle Mazza, Getty Images)

Family, trusted advisors and close confidants to President Joe Biden remain steadfast that he will remain the nominee for the Democratic Party following his performance at the first 2024 presidential debate, but other representatives believe “honest, serious and rigorous conversations” are taking place about the future of the election and who will represent the party.

“A lot of people are hoping for some sort of plan B, hoping that Biden will step down and not run again,” David Fahrenthold, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, said on Seattle’s Morning News. “I don’t see, honestly as a practical matter, how he could win after that presidential debate. That was the beginning of the presidential race for so many people and for it to start so disastrously, I don’t see how it comes back.

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“I don’t see how enough people will vote for him, given that it actually was pretty close before that,” Fahrenthold continued.

Polls and surveys are agreeing with Fahrenthold as of this moment. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has surpassed Biden 41% to 38% in a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll conducted after the debate. Before the debate, the poll had the two candidates knotted up at 37% each.

Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polled at 8% in the poll.

ABC News will host the second presidential debate between Biden and Trump on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. No moderators have been announced, as of this reporting.

“I really think there is a chance that it will not be Joe Biden in September,” Fahrenthold said. “Whoever that person is would definitely want a chance to debate Trump quite a bit.”

“Really?” Seattle’s Morning News co-host Dave Ross asked for confirmation. “You don’t think it’s going to be Joe Biden in September?”

“Given how wounded Biden is, given how unexcited people were before this happened,” Fahrenthold answered. “So many of the Democrats’ problems in this election are tied to Joe Biden, specifically to his age and the things that have happened on his watch. If you get rid of Joe Biden and replace him with somebody else, those (problems) might go away. I just feel like there is still a very strong chance that it’s going to be somebody other than Biden.”

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Current Vice President Kamala Harris, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock and California Governor Gavin Newsom have been noted as leading candidates to replace Biden if necessary.

Following the debate, a CBS News/YouGov poll found 55% of registered Democratic voters believe Biden should continue running, while 45% say he should step aside.

“I think Whitmer and Warnock particularly would be very strong. I don’t know if anybody knows their names yet, but I think putting anybody out there who’s younger, who’s got more energy, who doesn’t have Biden’s very long track record,” Fahrenthold said. “You know, Trump is a historically weak candidate. People don’t like Donald Trump. I think if you replace Biden with somebody that doesn’t have Biden’s baggage and has a little more youth, it could shake up the race.”

According to polling estimates from The Hill, Trump would have a 47.5%-43% edge over Harris if she became the Democratic candidate. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear have also been floated out as potential names to represent the Democratic Party in 2024.

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Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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