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2 Democrats That'd Replace Joe Biden if He Withdraws from Elections

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
US president Joe Biden standing on a podium wearing sunglasses
US president Joe Biden | Shutterstock

Joe Biden just gave the Democratic Party a wake-up call. There is a concern that the incumbent president’s age and mental fitness are not going away.

During a recent debate in Atlanta, Georgia, the president shot to bat away concerns about whether he can effectively serve a second term, one that would end well into his 80s.

Instead, battling a cold, Biden appeared raspy and hoarse onstage, appearing to forget words at times and other points, seemingly losing track of his point altogether.

Sources who spoke to The Independent and other media outlets after the debate were in panic mode. Some openly fretted about whether their party could do the unthinkable, which is replacing a sitting, incumbent president on the ticket after he breezed through the primary season virtually uncontested.

According to the Independent, one Democratic strategist called the situation “Horrible.” “Need to have [Kamala] Harris take over. Cleanest option.” So is it possible? And who would replace Joe Biden at the top of the Democratic ballot?

Here’s a closer look at these potential successors and why Biden might step down.

Kamala Harris


Kamala Harris, US Vice President delivering a speech
US Vice President Kamala Harris | Isaac Hoops / Shutterstock.co


Vice President Kamala Harris is a top contender to replace Joe Biden if he decides not to run for a second term.

As the sitting vice president, she has the most straightforward path to the nomination.

Harris has already made a name for herself on the national stage, having served as a U.S. Senator from California and the state's Attorney General. She also has experience from her presidential campaign in 2020, even though it ended before the primaries.

Harris's national recognition is also an advantage. However, the challenge is that despite her high profile, she needs widespread public support.

Many on the right view her unfavorably, often targeting her in political attacks. Some of these attacks suggest that Biden is merely a placeholder to pave the way for Harris, a theory that gained traction during Trump's campaign.

Futhermore, Harris’s role as vice president positions her as a logical and prepared successor. She has been at the forefront of the administration's efforts on key issues.

More so, Her familiarity with the inner workings of the White House and her established political career make her a natural choice among Democratic presidential candidates.

Gavin Newsom


Gavin Newsom the California Governor delivers a speech
Governor Gavin Newsom of California | Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com


Governor Gavin Newsom of California is another figure who could step in if Biden withdraws. Newsom's strong record as governor and his ability to raise substantial campaign funds make him a formidable contender.

His high profile within the Democratic Party and his success in managing California’s complex political landscape are advantages.

Newsom is currently serving his second term as governor, which he pledged to complete.

Despite this, his national presence and influence have only grown. Newsom has demonstrated his ability to engage effectively with both supporters and opponents.

For instance, his televised debate with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shows his debating skills and ability to defend Democrats running for presidential positions.

Financially, Newsom's connections and support from influential donors could provide a strong foundation for a presidential run. His wealth and political ties, while sometimes criticized by rivals, also position him well to gather the necessary resources for a national campaign.

Why There's a Possibility for a Biden Switch

There are several reasons why President Joe Biden might choose not to run for a second term.

One primary concern is his age and health. Biden, already the oldest person to serve as president, would be well into his 80s by the end of a second term.

During a recent debate in Atlanta, his performance raised further questions.

Battling a cold, Biden appeared hoarse and, at times, seemed to forget his points, causing concern among Democratic strategists and supporters.

These incidents have led to growing unease within the party. Some members are openly discussing the need for a backup plan.

The Democratic primary process, which Biden won convincingly, binds delegates to him unless he steps down.

If he were to exit, it would open the door for an intense scramble among potential successors. This scenario would lead to an open convention where delegates would have to choose a new nominee.

Other Potential Democrats Running For President

In addition to Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom, other Democratic presidential candidates are Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who could be possible replacements.

During COVID-19, Whitmer demonstrated a good sense of leadership by managing the situation with relative ease. Buttigieg, on the other hand, has been actively participating in the affairs of the recent administration. He also has an excellent political resume and a military background.