Top pollster says ‘struggling’ Biden, 81, must consider ‘giving up’ as swing state voters reveal who they want to replace him

By Charlie Spiering, Senior Political Reporter, Washington, DC

3:55 p.m. on May 24, 2024, updated at 4:02 p.m. on May 24, 2024

A prominent pollster has advised President Joe Biden to consider stepping down as Democratic presidential nominee if he continues to vote poorly between now and August.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver shared his analysis on the election during a podcast interview with the Risky Business podcast with Maria Konnikova.

He said Biden, 81, was behind in the majority of polls in swing states, calling it a “really, really bad sign for his campaign.”

“If Biden still struggles in August, he needs to consider stepping down,” Silver wrote on X, sharing a video of his analysis.

A prominent pollster has advised President Joe Biden to consider stepping down as Democratic presidential nominee if he continues to vote poorly between now and August.

Silver admitted that it would be very difficult politically for Democrats if Biden dropped out, but that it was something the party should consider.

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“It’s not a good situation for Ds anyway, but you have to do your due diligence on the issue,” he said. “This is obviously an important election. Talking about it shouldn’t be taboo.

Biden’s behavior during a news conference with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday raised questions about his mental stability as he repeatedly asked for stage directions and seemed surprised when reporters began asking him questions .

Silver’s analysis ties into a new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll asking voters in swing states who they would prefer to take Biden’s place if he were unable to continue as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Poll picks included Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Forty-five percent of voters surveyed chose Harris, Whitmer and Buttigieg tied at 36 percent, Newsom got 32 percent, Moore got 23 percent and Pritzker got 21 percent.

The vice president has stepped up her campaign travel in 2024, working to build support, particularly in swing states.

In 2024, Harris visited North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin four times each, Georgia three times and Arizona and Michigan twice.

The poll shows that voters in swing states are increasingly familiar with Harris and have already expressed their opinions about her.

While 45 percent supported Harris as Biden’s replacement, 46 percent of voters in the poll opposed Harris as his replacement, including 38 percent who strongly opposed her as their choice.

Kamala Harris
Gavin Newsom
Pete Buttigieg
Gretchen Whitmer

Just 9 percent of voters said they didn’t know or had an opinion about Harris.

About 30 percent of voters in the poll said they didn’t know or have an opinion about Democrats like Whitmer, Newsom and Buttigieg.

More than 50 percent of voters had no opinion on lesser-known political figures like Pritzker and Moore.

Despite her struggles with voters, Harris expressed her willingness to fight in a recent interview with Mav Carter, the manager and business partner of baseball star LeBron James.

“Elections and campaigns, it’s really like a fight, you know, people will say oh, it’s like a marathon, it’s like a marathon where people are throwing tomatoes at you every step of the way,” Harris said.

The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll surveyed 4,962 registered voters online in seven swing states from May 7-13.