Joe Biden

Following a widely criticised presidential debate performance, White House officials are grappling with a mix of frustration, concern, and resolve regarding President Joe Biden's campaign for re-election. Several Democrats have expressed doubts about Biden's ability to secure another term, citing his recent debate against former President Donald Trump as a significant setback.

White House Anxieties and Internal Tensions

The aftermath of Biden's debate performance has left many of his aides and officials anxious about his mental acuity and disappointed with what they perceive as a lack of transparency from his senior advisors. According to reports from Axios, Biden's performance did little to build confidence among his team, with many feeling that his statements were disjointed and lacked substance.

One White House official commented, "It's the first topic of every conversation. Senior leadership has given us nothing. To act like it's business as usual is delusional." Another official added, "The uncertainty after Thursday is palpable, and anxiety only increases. People are looking for leadership and direction that they were told to trust and hoped was there, but they aren't yet feeling it in what is now clearly a defining moment for this presidency."

However, some officials remain steadfast in their support of Biden. Campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz emphasised their collective belief in the President's mission and commitment to the American people. "Campaigns are hard. No one came here under any other illusion. But I can tell you there's a fire lit under all of us and keeps us going daily," Munoz stated.

Calls for Biden to Step Down

The internal discord is not confined to the White House. A report from Reuters highlighted that 25 Democratic members of the House of Representatives are preparing to call for Biden to end his re-election effort if his performance does not improve in the coming days. While the specific names of these members remain undisclosed, the sentiment is echoed by moderate House Democrats, often referred to as "frontliners," who are facing increased scrutiny from their constituents.

Prominent Democrats such as Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington state have publicly urged Biden to reconsider his campaign. This public dissent is a significant development, reflecting broader concerns within the party about Biden's viability as a candidate.

Voter Sentiment and Polling Data

Public opinion appears to align with these internal concerns. A recent poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos revealed that approximately one in three Democrats believe President Biden should withdraw from the race. Additionally, around 32% of Democrats think he should abandon his re-election campaign following his underwhelming debate performance, where he struggled to effectively counter Trump's attacks, including several false claims.

Biden's Response and Future Strategy

Despite the mounting pressure, President Biden remains resolute in his decision to continue his campaign. In a recent meeting with his campaign staff, he sought to reassure top Democratic politicians of his commitment and ability to lead. Biden also plans to meet with Democratic governors to further affirm his fitness for the presidency.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates reiterated this determination, stating, "We have a lot of experience keeping — and spreading — the faith in moments where we're counted out by staying focused on delivering for the American people and building on the most successful record of any modern presidency."