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DNC’s Zoom nomination plans forge ahead amid talk of ditching Biden

The story reports: “Forget replacing President Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris on the ballot.

The Democratic National Committee could formally nominate both candidates in a virtual vote ahead of the Aug. 19-22 convention in Chicago, which would lock in the ticket amid interparty panic.

The chatter about replacing Mr. Biden has grown with sinking poll numbers that show him losing every battleground state, combined with near-daily instances of the 81-year-old president appearing mentally confused and physically feeble.

Some are suggesting that Democrats strengthen the ticket by booting Ms. Harris and replacing her with Hillary Clinton. The party’s 2016 presidential nominee remains far more popular among Democrats than the vice president.

“Inarguably, a significant obstacle to a Biden win is Kamala Harris, whose low popularity has not been improved by her lackluster performance as vice president,” Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote.

The DNC is planning a nominating process that will ensure that any chance of a Biden or Harris switcheroo will be all but impossible by the time delegates arrive in Chicago.

Ohio has since moved the filing deadline to Sept. 1, but Democrats say they don’t trust the Republican-led state legislature and governor and are pushing forward with a virtual nomination.

The DNC has not disclosed a date for the virtual roll call.

Josh Putnam, party rules expert and founder of FHQ Strategies LLC, a nonpartisan political consulting venture, said a virtual vote would have to wait until after July 13, when Indiana Democrats select convention delegates. Mr. Putnam said the virtual vote may be more of a contingency plan at this point.

“The party was simultaneously creating some insurance but also buying themselves some time to figure out the particulars of any would-be virtual vote, including the timing,” Mr. Putnam said.

A virtual vote would lock in the Biden-Harris ticket and thwart a convention floor fight over increasing concerns about the incumbents’ chances of winning reelection.

Democrats are planning the virtual nod for Mr. Biden amid reports about behind-the-scenes panic among top Democrats and schemes to substitute a younger, more viable candidate who stands a better chance of defeating former President Donald Trump.

Nate Silver, who aggregates and analyzes election polls, noted that Mr. Biden’s approval rating this month declined to 37.4%, an all-time low for the president.

“Dropping out would be a big risk,” Mr. Silver posted on X. “But there’s some threshold below which continuing to run is a bigger risk. Are we there yet? I don’t know. But it’s more than fair to ask.”

Now that Democrats have cleared the way for nominating online, they could move to replace the ticket virtually — perhaps, some suggest, if Mr. Biden performs poorly at the June 27 presidential debate, where he will face off against Mr. Trump for the first time since 2020.

Party officials, however, haven’t even hinted at nominating anyone other than Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, either virtually or in person.

Some party officials warned that the virtual nomination could alienate Democrats who expect Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris to be nominated in person in Chicago.

Democrats and Republicans held elaborately staged virtual nominations in 2020, when the in-person conventions were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both party conventions will be in person this year, making a virtual nomination of the Biden-Harris ticket tough to explain to voters.

Elaine Kamarck, a member of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, asked convention leaders this month to hold a duplicative, in-person roll call vote in Chicago if the ticket is nominated virtually ahead of time.

“Nobody in the public is going to understand what we did here for these reasons,” she said during a virtual DNC meeting. “And it seems to me we wouldn’t want to skip the drama of a roll call vote, particularly if the DNC is planning anything cool like they did four years ago.”

Democratic National Convention Chair Minyon Moore called for the party to nominate Mr. Biden virtually before Aug. 7 to remove any uncertainty about his access to the Ohio ballot.

James Roosevelt, co-chairman of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, said a virtual vote would serve as an insurance policy, not an effort to thwart those who want to replace Mr. Biden on the ticket.

“This is the best way to ensure that bad-faith, mega-extremist lawmakers in Ohio or in any other state cannot subvert the will of the voters,” he said.

The Republican National Convention will be held July 15-18 in Milwaukee.”

In short, between Biden’s physical and mental condition, plus their Kamala Harris problem, plus the zoom question, Democrats have multiple problems going into their convention.


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