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What If Biden Can’t Finish the Race?

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2023
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by Shane Harris
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AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris

Biden

President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to announce his 2024 re-election bid as soon as Tuesday. But with increasingly clear indications that the 80-year-old Biden is in a state of physical and cognitive decline, and with voters and some party leaders making clear they want someone other than Biden at the top of the ticket, there is a very real possibility Biden might not finish the race – whether by choice or by design.

There are four possible scenarios where Democrats would have to replace Biden before a potential swearing in for a second term, each with different rules governing what would happen.

The first scenario would be if Biden drops out next year after most of the primaries but before the Democrat convention in late August.

Even if Biden runs unopposed, he still has to participate in the formality of “winning” delegates. In the case that he wins the necessary 1,991 delegates to secure the nomination but then drops out or is unable to continue before the convention (when the candidates for each party are officially chosen by the votes of the delegates) it would technically free up all of Biden’s delegates to vote for whomever they choose at the convention.

However, it is important here to remember two things: first, campaigns pick their own delegates; second, Democrat Party rules give campaigns effective veto power over their delegates. This means that if Biden were to drop out before the convention, his campaign would have the power to control who all of his delegates vote for – in essence allowing Biden to hand-pick his own replacement as the Democrat nominee, all without any input from voters.

In all likelihood this would be Biden’s running-mate, at this point assumed to be Kamala Harris.

The second scenario would be if Biden runs, defeats any potential primary challengers, becomes the Democrat nominee at the convention in August, and then drops out or is unable to continue to the general election.

In this case, the 400+ members of the Democrat National Committee would meet and select a replacement candidate by majority vote. But because many states allow early voting weeks out from an election, it would likely be impossible to re-print ballots, meaning that the election would have to be conducted across all 50 states with Biden’s name at the top of the Democrat ticket.

In any states that Biden wins, the Democrat Party would then have to count on the electors assigned to him to vote for the party’s chosen replacement when the Electoral College ballots are officially cast sometime in December of 2024.

But this situation would immediately create some thorny legal problems for Democrats. In most states, Electoral College electors – who actually decide who becomes president – are not required to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote, and thus Biden electors could just cast their votes for Harris or another Democrat.

But some states have laws in place that bind electors to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote. It is an open legal question whether electors in these states could change their vote if the winning candidate is unable to serve, meaning that court battles would likely ensue.

Moreover, this scenario would potentially create a major legitimacy crisis if the Biden ticket wins the presidency but Biden is no longer in the race. It is easy to imagine a situation where a voter casts his or her ballot early for Biden over the Republican nominee, but would prefer the Republican nominee over Harris if Biden is no longer in the race.

As the country saw in 2020, the early vote has the potential to shape the final outcome of the election. In some states, voters can spoil their ballot and cast a new one. But in others, voters would be stuck with their original vote.

Either of these first two scenarios would undoubtedly invite speculation that Biden never had any intention of finishing the race and was only running to clear the field for Harris. Given Harris’s turbulent tenure as vice president and historic unpopularity, she would almost surely face a serious field of challengers should Biden announce now that he is not running and force Harris into a contested and divisive primary.

Keeping Biden in the race just long enough to avoid a contested primary would also be a convenient way for the Democrat establishment to keep radicals like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – both of whom are viewed as having virtually no chance in a general election – far away from the nomination. Democrat Party elites went to great lengths to prevent Sanders from upsetting their favored candidate in 2016 and 2020, and would no doubt be just as alarmed at the prospect of a Sanders campaign in 2024.

The third scenario would be if Biden wins the general election but drops out or is unable to continue before the Electoral College votes were counted. In this case, the process would be largely the same as if Biden dropped out between the convention and the election – with the same alarming implications, ending in a legitimacy crisis and court battles over who electors can cast their vote for.

Things would be much clearer in the fourth and final scenario, if Biden were unable to serve after a potential general election victory and after the Electoral College votes were counted. In this case, the 20th Amendment would kick in, and the vice-president elect would be sworn in as president.

This final scenario, however, has potentially drastic implications for whoever replaces Biden and even American democracy itself. If Biden were to win the election and then announce that he could not take the oath of office to serve a second term just weeks or days before his swearing in, every American would have reason to believe Biden and the Democrat establishment were lying to them all along and attempting to effectively rig an election to install Harris or another Democrat as president.

It’s worth noting that Biden’s decision to seek a second term seemingly runs counter to what even most Democrat voters want. According to an AP-NORC poll from earlier this year, just 37 percent of registered Democrats want to see a second Biden term. Overall, a whopping 78 percent of voters think Biden should not run again. A separate poll from March found that 68% of voters said specifically that Biden is too old for another term.

Politico also reported in February that, in private, many elected Democrats and high-level Democrat operatives are expressing the same sentiment. Some have even spoken out publicly, like Democrat Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips, both of Minnesota, who have called for a “new generation” of leadership.

Yet Biden appears determined to plow ahead anyway. Whether his actions are motivated by hubris or a shady scheme to backdoor Kamala Harris into the Oval Office, only time will tell.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

What if Biden can’t finish the race? So what. It’s not like he is actually running anything anyway. The DNC will either just swap in Harris, which is highly unlikely as she has even lower approval numbers with Democrat voters than Biden, or the Party will rally around and coronate someone like Newsom or some other equally dismal socialist as their standard bearer. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, who the Democrats have heading the ticket. As the only thing that truly matters is who is counting the ballots.

The socialist policies implemented will be the exact same no matter who the Democrats select, just like it was in 2020. Every Democrat candidate swore to support the implementation of the radical socialists policies outlined in the 110-page Democrat Policy Platform all through the 2020 campaign. That is what Biden has been implementing over the last 2 years and he is only about 60% of the way through that list of items. It will be the same in 2024, with every single Democrat candidate fully supporting whatever is in the 2024 Democrat Policy Platform. So who gets selected as the Democrat presidential candidate is truly irrelevant. Anyone chosen will be implementing the exact same plan.

If we go in 2024 with essentially the same broken voting system that allowed for massive ballot manipulation with minimal voter ID verification in multiple key swing states, the likely outcome will be a repeat of what we have experienced since November 2020 multiple times in a row now. With a little extra assist from some RINOs, who just want to maintain the status quo for their own personal needs.

So far I see precious little movement in most Red states to address the issue. If anything, most Republican politicians want to encourage the public to play along with this new, broken system and just hope for the best. That just embodies a whole new level of stupidity from the professional political class. Of course I don’t expect any of the key swing states, that all but one are in Democrat hands, to move to change one thing as it is their key to their success with the Electoral College. So the clock is ticking and precious little is being done.

Tom Wajerski
Tom Wajerski
1 year ago

Interesting to see how Robert Kennedy’s campaign will change things,

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

Let’s just put the people who finance the campaigns in office now. That’s who runs things anyway.

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
1 year ago

What’s the difference. I’m sure that as I read this the Godless, Satanic democrats have already planned their evil agenda to cover all the crooked bases. One way or another they will lie, cheat, & steal their way into the white house. Their one-world agenda has a planned completion by 2030 so they need to hurry a bit. They fell behind by four years when the Hillabeast lost to Trump.

George
George
1 year ago

It’s simple what will happen if Biden cannot finish the race. Harris will assume the president nomination and Hakeem Jeffries will be put in as vice president nominee. Or, vice versa. Perhaps that is the plan.

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

I don’t believe dems care who’s in office, as long as they can remain in power, they’ll use or do whatever it takes to stay there. Afterwards it’s business as usual.

Lee
Lee
1 year ago

… Bejing Biden is the most scripted president in U.S. history. He is the most corrupt, destructive politician, in U.S. history. The damage he’s done to Main Street, U.S.A. is irreversible –

humberto
humberto
1 year ago

CIA runs our elections. They control the mainstream media. And, our legislature. The CIA’s been running our elections, since LBJ. Not a darned thing anybody can do about it.

Renfro
Renfro
1 year ago

Morally bankrupt, The most corrupt politician in U.S. history, not one shred of truth has he ever uttered, one lie right after another, no public servant in U.S. history was ever more a stranger to the truth, than president Joseph Biden. This is a guy who physically destroys infrastructure. Then, not only does he lie about it? He arm-twists and coerces, getting others to lie, for him –

phoenix
phoenix
1 year ago

Its already decided who will be president.

phoenix
phoenix
1 year ago

Not like there is going to be any presidential race anyway.

FedUp
FedUp
1 year ago

The guy can barely finish a thought, let alone a presidential race

Old Silk
Old Silk
1 year ago

Just remember that he put her name on all of the deals he was working on.

Cc
Cc
1 year ago

The problem isn’t the past!! What about the future??How to get a fair election??Met people who came here from socialist govt and after living here they can’t believe anyone but power minded people want socialism!!The few control the many. 52% income tax ,$8.00 gas and permits for everything like ceiling fans and chainsaws plus state required classes on proper operation nd chain service with large permit fees. I m an old veteran ready to defend my country again!! I can’t believe we as Americans. tolerate what is going on. Hope to live to see Trump Back in and country run by the constitution.”

Sandra Bever
Sandra Bever
1 year ago

No matter how you look at it, there is no good scenario in the Biden case.

JRep
JRep
1 year ago

Some really off the wall comments here. For all you anti-socialists, do let me know when you are giving up your Medicare, Social Security and all other benefits you are getting from federal or state governments. And please don’t tell me you ‘paid into them’ because that’s nonsense. They are basically just transfer payments. Biden is going to run, win the nomination and probably the election, if DJT is the candidate…who happens to be the most immoral, corrupt and narcissistic President ever. Unless he drops dead first and then all bets are off (I’d pick Newsom to run)

JayCee
JayCee
1 year ago

Use of the Orwellian term “Democrat Party” is an unmistakable dog-whistle to the far right that you’re in their corner.

charliehorse
charliehorse
1 year ago

Biden will declaer his intention to have a second term, and will proceed to campaign from his basement as before so not to be a “lame duck”. Prior to the convention he’ll withdraw and the Progressives will push forward a strong Socialist with Obama backing….Susan Rice. Then they’ll demand universal mail in ballottiing and legal harvesting with a month of voting due to the irregular situation.

Matt Rowan
Matt Rowan
1 year ago

This entire article has me vomiting in every direction.

Helen
Helen
1 year ago

He should not be running for a second time in the first place. He has done enough damage, time to get a good, Christian man in the office that can turn this country around.

Matt Rowan
Matt Rowan
1 year ago

Bernie Sanders can have a field day with this situation because the DNC, Hil-liar-y and the brain damaged corrupt Big Guy of Biden Inc. has screwed him out of a legitimate chance at the nomination again and again. By now he surely knows that he cannot get the nomination (under normal demrat rules). But he could really teach them all a good lesson by undertaking a Primary challenge that has Bernie repeating over and over all of the corruption attached to Brandon, all of the corruption and outright crimes committed by the drug addled kid, and the filthy tricks involving the Bidens, Clintons AND the DNC in cahoots with each other. Bernie could position himself as the only honest dude in the room. He might even win the nomination. What a cool punch in the mouth to these corrupt clowns…and as for us, Trump would have no problem taking him down.

Charlie Calhound
Charlie Calhound
1 year ago

Interesting

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

The most likely scenario is Brandon takes a swing at some reporter who dares to ask him why Hunter Biden is the Chinese bag Man for the whole family.. and then they have to finally put Brandon short bus Magoo in the Home

elephant4life
elephant4life
1 year ago

Is it too much to expect that candidates for office be actually breathing and able to serve on election day? And speaking of that, this scenario is one of the many reasons I oppose early voting that extends weeks, or even months, prior to the official election day.

American Flag
American Flag
1 year ago

Kamala. It’s here hope and prayer

Richard Gorence
Richard Gorence
1 year ago

No one knows if the big guy will make it the next two years and they’re talking another four. He’s being pushed by the hard left to blindly sign orders and cater to the black and Hispanic vote, and push trillions of our tax dollars towards worthless green projects. Crazy!

Garland Hamlett
Garland Hamlett
1 year ago

The Bidens are crooks,just lit Hil and Bil. Trump 2024

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 year ago

What will happen and that is the plan is that his great VP will step in and become president she cannot find her way out of the bathroom just think of her leading this country she knows nothing, this will become a third world country under her rule.this will be the end of the Dems in Washington if they let this happen.

Paul Davis
Paul Davis
1 year ago

Dems won’t care if he is capable. They elected Uncle Fester to congress and gave him the chairmanship of a committee he knows nothing about and can barely call to order.

Gunny Joe
Gunny Joe
1 year ago

I look for Susan Rice to run either as bidens vp or as top of the ticket. If the voters don’t correct the system we will have the same results as 2020, at this time I don’t see a correction on the table.

Big Guy
Big Guy
1 year ago

Shane Harris informs us what would happen if Biden is unable to finish the race with the same forthrightness of Fox news. His integrity is every bit as great as that of Trump. Bless his heart.

RDPence
RDPence
1 year ago

I’d like to read a similar analysis of the Republican Party, assuming they nominate Trump for a 3rd time. What happens at various time points if he cannot continue as the Republicans candidate?

Steven Tapper
Steven Tapper
1 year ago

Biden/Fetterman! It’s a no brainer!

Or
Or
1 year ago

What if you lose another election again and have to go crying about how it’s not fair? Lol

Richard
Richard
1 year ago

Dare not going crying they all ready know the naacp super welfare terrorists lawyer’s of Defense supply service first floor of pentagon granted the violence contracts voting machines calling from Its all Tesla electric grid going Dark.

RUready
RUready
1 year ago

The Republicans are moving far too slow. If the borders are open for an extended four years, American as we know it won’t exist. Just imagine all of these immigrants coming into the country moving into your neighborhood. We have many Americans who need help instead of placing immigrants at the front of the line.

Cc
Cc
1 year ago

We need not worry, the fix is in so stated by Biden just before the 2020 election and that is when he was put in his basement. Look it up, a slip of the tongue forgetting who he was addressing. If a person was a crook wouldn’t you put him somewhere non public in order for less chance of opening the bag where they store the cat. Republicans need to find how the left did it and how to checkmate it rather than jump up and down on this forum telling the left what they think. Let’s win but legal and jail 2020 layers.If a crook is caught he likes to talk for self preservation.We might be surprised at the results given. Better to fight as free than serve as slaves!!!

Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)
President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to discuss his approval of a FEMA disaster declaration in response to the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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