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Biden debate flop leads Democrats to call for new nominee — but replacing him is tough to do

  • President Joe Biden's widely panned debate performance against former President Donald Trump stoked panic among Democrats.
  • Liberal commentators and top Democratic donors are weighing whether to push to replace Biden as the party's nominee.
  • But Biden aides and leading Democrats say he is committed to running for a second White House term against the Republican Trump.

President Joe Biden's raspy, unfocused, often inarticulate and widely panned debate performance stoked deep anxiety among Democrats — and caused some commentators and fundraisers to openly call for a new nominee to run against former President Donald Trump.

But replacing Biden as the party's pick less than five months out from Election Day carries enormous political risks and would be difficult, if not impossible, to pull off.

Right now, the only likely way Biden could be replaced is if he willingly ends his campaign.

And Biden's aides and top Democratic officials say the 81-year-old incumbent has no plans to do so.

If he did drop out, Democrats have yet to identify a clear alternative candidate to swap in.

But the panic among donors and party officials after watching Biden falter Thursday night in his debate against Trump has led some of them to take steps to get Biden out of the race.

There are already discussions among Democratic fundraisers about trying to convince congressional leaders — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in particular — to urge Biden to announce to drop out, according to people familiar with the matter who were granted anonymity to speak freely.

Schumer, D-N.Y., is a top target for donors making that pitch because he privately has voiced concerns about Biden's standings in presidential election polls, those people said.

Schumer was

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