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Kamala to Be ‘Leapfrogged’ in Quest to Find Biden Replacement

© AP Photo / Susan WalshVice President Kamala Harris steps up to the podium as President Joe Biden watches in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Vice President Kamala Harris steps up to the podium as President Joe Biden watches in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.06.2024
US President Joe Biden’s performance in Thursday’s Presidential debate set off a panic in Democratic circles, with calls for the 81-year-old to step aside growing exponentially. However, Biden’s heir apparent, Vice President Kamala Harris, has nearly as low of an approval rating as Biden, causing many to call for an entirely new Democratic ticket.
US Vice President Kamala Harris will be skipped over if her running mate President Joe Biden decides to drop out of the race, attorney and civil rights organizer Robert Patillo II speculated on Sputnik's Fault Lines on Friday.
President Biden had a very bad night. The worst part was that he reinforced the narrative about him, of being kind of this doddering old man who didn’t know where he was, couldn’t complete a sentence, kind of got lost midway through sentences, those sorts of things.
The post-debate analysis, even on left-leaning MSNBC, focused heavily on finding a potential replacement for Biden, with the choices of Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom being floated on the air.
Patillo described Biden’s performance as “Just an old man dying in front of us,” saying that “It got uncomfortable for people watching.”
In what appeared to be an attempt at damage control, Harris appeared on both MSNBC and CNN defending Biden’s performance and vehemently declining to call for him to step down. She may have been the only one. CNN analyst Van Jones called Biden’s performance “personally painful for a lot of people,” and openly noted that the Democrats could make a switch before the convention.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate with President Donald Trump - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.06.2024
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NBC analyst Chuck Todd said Democratic leaders are in “a full-on panic about this performance.” Almost 48 million viewers watched the debate, many more likely saw clips of Biden’s worst moments after they were posted online.
However, the Democrats may have difficulty finding a replacement for Biden because they all but shut down the party’s primary this cycle, making Harris the only potential candidate with a reasonable claim to the nomination as Biden’s running mate.
Unfortunately for Democrats, Harris is unpopular with the voting public, According to poll aggregator 538, only 39% of Americans view her favorably, leading commentators to speculate that another candidate may be chosen by party leadership. That causes its own set of problems, however, because Harris is the first woman vice president and the first Black vice president. Whoever is the eventual Democratic nominee will need support from both voting blocs if they hope to defeat Donald Trump in November.
“The problem then becomes you can’t hop over the first Black female vice president and put Gavin Newsom, let’s say, in the catbird seat,” explained Patillo. “Every once and a while the Democratic Black folks know exactly what their place is in the party and it's pretty clear that the white feminists don't hold Kamala Harris in the same regard that they held Hillary Clinton, for example,” he added later.
According to Sportsbook Review, Biden’s odds went from +137 on May 31, to +400 after the debate. That means a $100 bet placed on May 31 would have returned $237 ($137 profit) if Biden won the presidency. Now, a $100 bet will net you $500 ($400 profit) if Biden wins.
By comparison, Trump's odds are -185, which means a $100 bet will net you $185 ($85 profit).
Even more interesting is how the odds of the other candidates not named Trump or Biden fared following the debate. Nearly every potential candidate– except Biden and Independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr.-- saw their odds improve, indicating that betters and sportsbooks are expecting a change at the top of the Democratic ticket.
US President Joe Biden speaks  - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.11.2023
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The biggest jump was for Gavin Newsom, who saw his odds go from +5000 to as low as +500 on some sites. By comparison, Harris’ odds went from +6600 to +1400, a large jump but not nearly as large as Newsom’s. The Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential election also jumped up the boards: Hillary Clinton’s odds are now +4000, in May, a bet on Clinton would have gotten gamblers +15000. Patillo thinks she may be a dark horse candidate for the nomination.
“The reason is you have, what? Four months that you have to get 100% name recognition around the country. You don't have time to introduce the country to Gavin Newsom. You don't have time to introduce the country to Kamala Harris, quite frankly,” he explained. “You need someone who is a known commodity that is already recognized by every single person, whether good, bad or ugly, and who has the ability to fundraise, you know, the half billion dollars they're going to need to fundraise for the course of the next several months. And the only person who fits that bill will be Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama, and Michelle ain't doing it.”
While Clinton lost to Trump in 2016 and has polled unfavorably with the American public, she can at least appear competent on the debate stage, unlike Biden’s performance on Thursday.
“[Biden] was barely able to form a sentence last night and that is why it’s a situation that’s apocalyptic for Democrats because regardless of how much money you raise, regardless of how you try to paint Trump, if people think you’re running essentially against ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ it’s not going to really matter,” argued Patillo. “And that is why that Hillary train is going to be picking up over the course of the next several weeks.”
“How many times have you heard people say this is no time to panic?" constitutional historian Dan Lazare asked while speaking to Sputnik. "Well, if ever there was a time for Democrats to panic, this is it."
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