Unlikely to Swap Biden for Newsom or an Ideal Democrat

Why replacing Biden with Newsom or some ‘mythical perfect Democrat’ is unlikely

Those hoping for a replacement to Joe Biden on the 2024 presidential ballot, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom or another Democrat, are likely to be disappointed.

Despite concerns about Biden’s age, which is currently 81, party officials and pollsters argue that replacing him is impractical and highly unlikely without his consent.

Renewed speculation about the president’s mental acuity, stemming from a recent report on his handling of classified documents, has reignited debates over his candidacy and potential alternatives within the Democratic Party.

Unlikely to Swap Biden for Newsom or an Ideal Democrat
Unlikely to Swap Biden for Newsom or an Ideal Democrat (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

However, several factors suggest that Biden is almost certain to remain the Democratic nominee:

1) Biden Holds Party Control:

Incumbent presidents typically wield significant influence within their party, and Biden is no exception. With the Democratic National Committee and other party entities aligned with his campaign, challenging him in most states’ primaries is no longer feasible.

Furthermore, the deadline for such challenges has passed in many states. Even if Biden were to step aside, the process of selecting a replacement would be complex and chaotic.

2) Timing Complications:

Any attempt to replace Biden would face logistical hurdles, particularly due to the advanced stage of the primary process. Potential replacements would have limited time to campaign effectively, and the decision would likely be deferred to the party’s national convention.

This process could lead to uncertainty and potential discord within the party, reminiscent of historical precedents like the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention.

3) Newsom’s Loyalty:

Despite speculation surrounding Newsom’s ambitions and national profile, he remains committed to supporting Biden. Newsom’s camp has dismissed discussions about replacing Biden, emphasizing their loyalty to the current president. Newsom himself has repeatedly expressed support for Biden, downplaying any suggestions of presidential aspirations.

4) Vice Presidential Options:

While figures like Vice President Kamala Harris, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker may be considered as potential successors in the event of a health crisis, Harris remains the most prominent candidate due to her current position. However, Harris has faced challenges of her own, including unfavorable polling numbers and relentless conservative scrutiny.

5) Political Landscape:

Newsom’s association with California liberalism could pose challenges in a national election, particularly in light of perceptions of the state’s political stance. While Newsom may have a decent standing within the party, any Democratic nominee would inevitably face criticism and scrutiny from opponents.

Despite ongoing discussions and speculation, the likelihood of Biden being replaced as the Democratic nominee remains remote, with the party’s focus largely remaining on supporting his candidacy.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.