Majority of voters want to throw Biden overboard following disastrous debate

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Joe Biden watches news on a TV in the corner Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, while he waits for his order at the Navy Mess in the West Wing of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)
Joe Biden watches news on a TV in the corner Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, while he waits for his order at the Navy Mess in the West Wing of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

Rebeka Zeljko
Daily Caller News Foundation

The majority of voters want to see President Joe Biden replaced as the Democratic nominee following his debate performance on Thursday night, according to a Morning Consult poll released Friday.

After the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle, Biden’s performance left many major Democrats scrambling to soften the blow. But even with the damage control, 60% of voters and even 47% of Democrats said Biden should be replaced as the Democratic candidate, according to the poll.

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Of the voters who actually watched the debate, 63% say Biden should be replaced, according to the poll. Among Democrats who watched the debate, 50% say they want Biden gone, while 62% of independents who watched and 75% of Republicans agreed.

The sentiment was felt even in the upper echelons of the Democratic Party. Within 35 minutes of the debate, top Democrats and media publications began echoing calls to replace Biden altogether.

The New York Times editorial board called for Biden to drop out of the race Friday, asserting that other Democratic leaders are better equipped to take on former President Donald Trump in November.

Amid talks of replacing Biden altogether, 30% of Democratic voters said they think Vice President Kamala Harris should be the new nominee, according to the poll. Further, 20% say California Gov. Gavin Newsom should replace Biden, and 9% say it should be Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Despite the rumors, Newsom has repeatedly downplayed questions about a potential 2024 election bid. After the debate, he dismissed questions about the possibility of Democrats replacing Biden in an interview with MSNBC.

“I will never turn my back on President Biden,” Newsom said. “Never turn my back on President Biden, I don’t know a Democrat in my party that would do so.”

Since the debate, many top Democrats who had previously defended Biden’s mental acuity have now avoided commenting on the subject altogether. To voters, the decline in Biden’s mental fitness was apparent, especially after watching the debate.

Prior to the debate, 43% of voters reported that Biden was mentally fit, and only 41% said they thought he was in good health, according to the poll. Across debate viewers, those numbers worsened, with only 35% saying Biden is mentally fit and 28% saying Biden is in good health.

This trend was reversed for Trump, who had 47% of voters saying he was mentally fit and 52% saying he was in good health, according to the poll. After the debate, those numbers jumped up to 54% of viewers saying he is mentally fit and 62% saying he is in good health.

Across voters, 64% said Biden was too old, while 78% of debate viewers expressed the same sentiment, according to the poll. For Trump, 42% of voters said he was too old, and only 45% of debate viewers agreed.

President Joe Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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