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US election campaign: Fateful days in Washington: Biden loses support

US election campaign: Fateful days in Washington: Biden loses support
US election campaign: Fateful days in Washington: Biden loses support

Only Biden can decide whether to drop out of the presidential race. But can Biden really stick to his candidacy when more and more prominent voices are expressing doubts about his suitability?

The headwind for Joe Biden in the debate about his presidential candidacy is getting stronger and stronger. The US president continues to lose support in the Democratic Party and among donors. According to a survey, 56 percent of party supporters surveyed are in favor of the 81-year-old withdrawing from the presidential race. The Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi may have opened the door for such a withdrawal with her subtle distancing from Biden.

Fear is spreading

Biden is currently fighting to save his candidacy for the presidential election in November. Because of his age, there are questions in the USA as to whether Biden is the right presidential candidate for the Democrats. Since his disastrous performance in the TV debate against his Republican challenger Donald Trump (78), Biden has had to put up with questions about his mental fitness. However, he reacts defiantly to criticism. So far, he has vehemently ruled out dropping out of the race. The acid test for him is likely to be the final press conference of the NATO summit in Washington on Friday night in Germany.

So far, there has been no rebellion against the 81-year-old in his party. But not a day goes by without other Democrats or supporters voicing doubts about Biden’s candidacy. The Democrats fear that the Republicans could gain control of the White House and Congress after the election in November. In addition to the presidency, many seats in parliament will also be reallocated. The entire House of Representatives will be re-elected, and a third of the seats in the Senate will be up for election.

And so it is primarily Democratic representatives in contested constituencies who have openly spoken out against Biden. They fear that the dwindling support for the US president could drag them down with him. But resistance is not only coming from Washington. Who are the Biden rebels?

The opponents from politics

No critical mass has yet turned against Biden. A good ten parliamentarians have publicly called on him to withdraw. But what Biden confidante and powerful Democrat Pelosi said in a TV interview is more important. On Wednesday, on the show “Morning Joe”, supposedly Biden’s favorite political breakfast TV show, the 84-year-old said: “It is up to the president to decide whether he will run.” She added: “We are all encouraging him to make that decision. Time is running out.”

When the moderator pointed out that Biden had obviously already decided to stay in the race, Pelosi responded evasively. It is highly unlikely that the professional politician simply expressed herself poorly. She probably knows exactly what she is doing – and her word carries enormous weight in the party.

There are also reports that the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, is also open to a Biden alternative. If political heavyweights like Pelosi and Schumer lose confidence in Biden, Biden will have his back against the wall.

The financially strong opponents

Hollywood is generally considered to be rather liberal – so it’s no wonder that Biden has significantly more support there than Trump. Film stars are among the party’s major donors. With the force of a thunderclap, Hollywood star George Clooney’s reckoning in the “New York Times” hit home. The 63-year-old bluntly called on the US president to withdraw from the race. One battle he could not win was the battle against time. Successful director and producer Rob Reiner (“When Harry Met Sally”) joined Clooney and wrote: “Joe Biden must make way.”

Last week, there were reports that a wealthy Disney heiress was planning to withhold her financial support for the party until Biden withdraws from the presidential race. The New York Times reported that a growing number of major donors are calling for a replacement candidate. Biden, on the other hand, is continuing to try to promote himself at fundraising galas.

The surveys

Biden and his team repeatedly argue that the debate has not changed the polls. That is not entirely true. Biden was already slightly behind Trump in many surveys before the debate. Since the debate, the gap has widened somewhat in some surveys. However, it is often still within the margin of error. A recent survey by the Ipsos polling institute puts Trump and Biden on a par with 46 percent each. According to the survey, however, 67 percent of Americans and 56 percent of Democratic supporters believe that Biden should throw in the towel.

National polls do reflect a trend, but more important are the numbers from the contested states that are not firmly assigned to either the Republicans or the Democrats. The so-called swing states are crucial for the election. According to polls, Trump has been able to extend his lead here since the debate.

With clenched fist

Biden is likely to take a close look at these numbers. But it is up to him what conclusions he draws from them. He won the necessary delegate votes to run in the primaries. The candidate will then be officially chosen at the party convention in August. Biden would therefore have to voluntarily withdraw. Biden’s team portrays the political veteran as a fighter who ultimately proved his opponents wrong.

This is also Biden’s current strategy. When a journalist asked whether Nancy Pelosi still supported his presidential candidacy at the NATO summit, Biden countered with a clenched fist.

The US President’s focus should actually be on the 75th anniversary of the defense alliance’s summit, which is taking place in Washington this week. But the important meeting is overshadowed by the debate about Biden’s candidacy.

If Biden makes a mistake at the NATO final press conference, he will probably come under further pressure. The 81-year-old is particularly prone to making promises when he has to speak freely or answer questions spontaneously. The teleprompter cannot help him at a press conference. CNN wrote of a press conference of historic proportions.

Biden has also announced another TV interview for Monday to show that he can hold his own in situations without a prompter. On Monday evening (German night to Tuesday) he will answer questions from NBC journalist Lester Holt. Last week, Biden gave his first interview after the debate to ABC and stressed that only God could persuade him to withdraw.

Source: Stern

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