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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Democratic Splits

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun.  It is a fight between two very old men.

After Biden's bad debate performance last week, there has been off-the-record talk about replacing him on the Democratic ticket.  Some Democrats have gone on the record.

Jonathan Martin at Politico reports on D governors rallying behind Biden:
Most congressional Democrats simply see no path to take back the House and hold their Senate majority if they are led by a president who large majorities of the country, as new polls indicate, believe is too old for the job.

Yet by showing up at the White House and then, more significantly, offering public displays of support, the governors only encouraged a standard bearer many lawmakers feel is doomed — and will doom them. Most House Democrats are outrunning Biden in their internal surveys, I’m told by people familiar with the results. But they know they can’t overcome his drag if he’s losing their seats by 15 points rather than mid-single digits. “Hence the terror,” as one operative working on congressional Democratic races explained.
Even more infuriating to Democrats on Capitol Hill is the personal politics they sniff in the governors’ declarations of support. Few of the governors have to run for reelection this year, but more than a handful of them are eager to seek the presidency in 2028. And there’s no path for any of them then if Vice President Kamala Harris by then is President Harris seeking reelection. Moreover, if she runs a credible, last-minute race and loses narrowly this year to former President Donald Trump, it still may be difficult to deny her the nomination in four years.
“Sink Kamala so she’s not the nominee in both ’24 and ’28,” as one House Democrat texted upon hearing of the governors rallying to Biden.

Kenneth P. Vogel, Theodore Schleifer, and Lauren Hirsch at NYT:
After several days of quiet griping and hoping that President Biden would abandon his re-election campaign on his own, many wealthy Democratic donors are trying to take matters into their own hands.

Wielding their fortunes as both carrot and stick, donors have undertaken a number of initiatives to pressure Mr. Biden to step down from the top of the ticket and help lay the groundwork for an alternate candidate.

The efforts — some coordinated, some conflicting and others still nascent — expose a remarkable and growing rift between the party’s contributor class and its standard-bearer that could have an impact on down-ballot races, whether or not the donors influence Mr. Biden’s decision.

The president on Wednesday reaffirmed his commitment to stay in the race amid criticism of his weak debate performance last week. But that has not placated donors or strategists who worry that he cannot win in November.

A group of them is working to raise as much as $100 million for a sort of escrow fund, called the Next Generation PAC, that would be used to support a replacement candidate. If Mr. Biden does not step aside, the money could be used to help down-ballot candidates, according to people close to the effort.

Supporters of potential replacements like Vice President Kamala Harris are jockeying to position their preferred successor. Other donors are threatening to withhold contributions not only from Mr. Biden but also from other Democratic groups unless Mr. Biden bows out.

There is a separate movement to steer money to candidates for lower offices. And financial supporters are urging elected officials at all levels to publicly pressure Mr. Biden to withdraw, signaling support for those who follow through. Some major donors like Reed Hastings have gone public with calls for Mr. Biden to stand down.