Donald Trump wants Joe Biden to stay in the race (2024)

Democrats may be reconsidering Joe Biden's candidacy, but the president's opponent is likely hoping that he'll stay in the race.

Biden's performance at last week's debate has sent the Democratic Party into crisis mode over the past six days. Reports suggest there is a growing chorus of Democrats who want to see Biden replaced with a different candidate as questions about his ability to serve a second term overshadow his campaign.

But there's one person who may want Biden to remain defiant and stay in: former President Donald Trump.

"Donald Trump should want to keep Joe Biden in the race," Republican strategist Matt Klink told Newsweek. "Post-debate polling will almost certainly show the current president's support tanking with independents and all but the most die-hard Democrats, particularly in six states that will determine who wins in November."

John Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna, agreed, saying that if the negative stories of Biden's mental fitness continue to mount, "it will be in Trump's interest to run against him."

Donald Trump wants Joe Biden to stay in the race (1)

After the debate, Trump told Fox News, "Yes, I think he will be the nominee." Asked about the calls to replace Biden, he said, "No, I don't think so. They wouldn't have done any better. No one else would have been better."

Biden's campaign has sought to calm both the internal and external panic that has ensued in the aftermath of the debate, issuing memos ahead of expected polling, arranging meetings between Biden and Democratic governors across the nation and scheduling an extended sit-down interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Some have already begun entertaining the idea of a new candidate. Former congressman Tim Ryan called for Vice President Kamala Harris to replace Biden. Representative James Clyburn, one of Biden's closest allies, said he would support Harris as the nominee if Biden exits the race.

New leaked polling from OpenLabs, a Democrat-affiliated nonprofit, found that Harris, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg all polled ahead of Biden in every battleground state—the first time there's been a stark difference between these Democrats and the president.

Klink said it would be "messy" for Democrats to put another candidate into the race with just four months before Election Day, but it could give the party "party the chance to reframe Election 2024."

"Replacing Joe Biden would be unprecedented, but it would completely flip the script for the 2024 presidential election," Klink said. "Instead of a comparison between the two candidates both with significant negatives, it would create more of a 2020-like climate where Donald Trump becomes the issue."

He said he anticipates that a new Democratic candidate would allow the party to focus on Trump's weaknesses, like his criminal indictments and the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, "all while having a younger, more vibrant candidate capable of making compelling arguments, highlighting the future and, equally important, counterpunching against Donald Trump when he stretches the truth."

A CBS poll released Wednesday showed that following the debate, Trump now has a 3-point advantage over Biden across the battleground states collectively and a 2-point edge nationally. A CNN poll released Tuesday showed Trump with a 6-point lead.

Over the weekend, Senator J.D. Vance, a contender for Trump's vice president choice, criticized the idea of Biden stepping down, calling it "a massive affront to American democracy for [the Democratic Party] to have effectively given Democratic primary voters one choice for the entire primary process and, now that he's had a disastrous debate performance, try to pull him."

Right-wing commentator Tim Pool urged Republicans to make sure Biden would be the one to run against Trump in November, writing in a Tuesday post on X (formerly Twitter), "We must support Biden at all costs and not let Democrats replace him."

However, Klink told Newsweek that "any Trumpworld message" echoing those calls could "have the opposite effect."

Biden has insisted that he will stay in the race, even after conceding that the debate did not go well for him. On Wednesday, his campaign again refuted speculation that he will step down.

White House senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said that Biden was not reconsidering his candidacy.

Responding to a New York Times report that Biden told an ally he was weighing whether to stay in the race, Bates tweeted, "That claim is absolutely false. If the New York Times had provided us with more than 7 minutes to comment we would have told them so."

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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Donald Trump wants Joe Biden to stay in the race (2024)
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