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President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a NATO event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the alliance, in Washington, on July 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Biden and his allies dig in as he delivers forceful NATO speech

President Joe Biden has made clear he has no plans to exit the presidential race against Donald Trump. Democratic lawmakers and fundraisers who want him to step aside for Vice President Kamala Harris or someone else now know they’ll have to give in or push Biden much harder.

Some prominent Democrats have signaled their support for Biden this week. House Minority LeaderHakeem Jeffriesof New York told reporters on Monday that “I support Joe Biden and the Democratic ticket.” Prominent progressives in the House, likeAlexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, have also offered continuing public support for Biden. Sen.John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, a key Biden ally, urged Biden doubters “to get a spine or grow a set.”

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US President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States, June 28, 2024.

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Biden fights for survival

President Joe Biden is doing his best to discourage expectations he will leave the presidential race. On Monday, he made a surprise appearance (via phone) on TV talk showMorning Joe.” “I’m getting so frustrated by the elites … the elites in the party who … they know so much more,” Biden complained. “Any of these guys don’t think I should, run against me: Go ahead, challenge me at the convention.”

His reasoning is simple: Voters have his back. “The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party. Do we now just say this process didn’t matter?”

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., June 28, 2024.

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Can the Dems replace Biden? And if so, with whom?

Joe Biden had a rough time in Thursday’s presidential debate, leaving many wondering whether Democrats can replace the 81-year-old incumbent with another candidate to fight Donald Trump. While purely theoretical – party insiders are rallying behind Biden, at least in public, and the president says he intends to fight on – let's look at how it could happen, and who might take Biden’s place.

First, Biden would need to decide to withdraw himself. Right now, the people with enough influence to convince him to do that appear to be either his wife, his sister, or potentially former President Barack Obama.

If Biden stands down, the Democrats would be cast into a brokered convention, or a free-for-all scenario at the Aug. 19 convention in Chicago, where individual candidates who throw their hat in the ring would have to campaign to try to win a majority of the 3,900 delegates Biden won during the convention. There are also 700 superdelegates, or party insiders, who can vote for whoever they’d like, and they would likely play an outsized role in picking the next candidate. The party would then have only three months to unite behind and campaign for the new candidate before the November election.

If Biden were to step aside, he may name a potential successor, which raises the question: Who could take Biden’s place?

Vice President Kamala Harris is the most likely choice, given that Biden began his first term hinting he could be a one-term president who would usher the first Black female president into office after him. But Harris has been widely criticized for not carving out a strong enough role in the Biden administration, and she has poor approval ratings, suggesting she would be unlikely to improve the party’s chances of beating Trump.

If Biden chooses to throw the baby out with the bathwater and name an entirely new successor, California Gov. Gavin Newsom could be a contender. During Trump’s presidency, Newsom declared California the leader of the “resistance” to his administration, and his liberal views on gun control, LGBT+ issues, and abortion rights could win over the party’s progressive flank. But, for now, Newsom appears to be building his profile for a 2028 run.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, meanwhile, was on the shortlist for Biden’s VP pick in 2020, and was recently profiled in the New York Times saying that the US needs a Gen X president – but in 2028. The strong showing in the midterms for the Democratic party was in part attributed to her governorship, and she has been a vocal proponent of repealing abortion bans, backing universal preschool, and strengthening gun laws.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire son of the Pritzker family, owners of the Hyatt Hotel Corporation, would be one of the wealthiest of the possible picks, giving him the needed fundraising edge to conduct an aggressive three-month-long campaign. He can also flourish his credentials of having codified the right to abortion in Illinois, declaring it a “sanctuary state” for women seeking treatment.

Notably, all of Biden’s most likely replacements are under age 60.

Democratic governors from traditionally Republican states, such as Andy Beshear of Kentucky and Roy Cooper of North Carolina, are longer shots. As are Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown – because, unlike Pritzker, Whitmer, and Newsom, they have not been able to cultivate a national presence in recent months while continuing to support Biden.

Fear of losing a potential endorsement from Biden later means none of these candidates is likely to throw their hat in the ring unless the president decides to step down, a decision that is likely to be made behind tightly closed doors.

“No one who wants Biden's endorsement is going to undermine him publicly, says Eurasia Group’s US director Jon Lieber.

Supporters with a placard 'April 10 is the Yoon Suk Yeol government, Judgment Day.' attend the Democratic Party of Korea's general election campaign rally at Yongsan Station Square in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2024.

Matrix Images / Lee Kitae via Reuters Connect

South Korean opposition likely to clean up in key elections

South Koreans went to the polls today for key legislative elections amid a bitterly polarized environment and a sluggish economy, with early exit polls showing a likely landslide for the opposition Democratic Party. President Yoon Suk Yeol has been stymied by DP control of the unicameral legislature throughout the first two years of his presidency, and his People Power Party was facing daunting odds heading into today.

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Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary
Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary | GZERO World

Mayorkas impeachment: Reps. Lofgren & Spartz on House vote on DHS secretary

The US House of Representatives is voting on a Republican-led resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the immigration crisis on the southern border. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer sat down with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who both sit on the House Immigration subcommittee, moments before the vote took place for their thoughts on the first impeachment of a cabinet secretary in modern history.

“[The impeachment] has nothing to do with meeting the constitutional standards,” Lofgren, former chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement, tells Bremmer, “It’s a complete waste of time.”

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United States Senator Ron Johnson (Republican of Wisconsin)

Credit: Rod Lamkey / CNP/Sipa USANo Use Germany

Will Democrats and Republicans head for the border?

Now’s the time to watch the fascinating politics of immigration policy in the United States. For years, both Democrats and Republicans have played high-stakes political poker by using dysfunctional US border policy, and a series of migrant surges across the US-Mexico boundary, as a wedge issue. The Dems say Republicans hate immigrants. The Republicans say Democrats use immigrants to win more votes. (Reality check: President Joe Biden hasn’t changed former President Donald Trump’s policies very much.)
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Republican candidates line the Miami stage for Wednesday's GOP debate.

Jonah Hinebaugh-USA TODAY via Reuters

What this week’s vote and GOP debate mean for 2024

In a world obsessed with reading polls like prophecies, many are looking at Tuesday’s election results for evidence of where Americans really stand.

Despite Joe Biden’s lagging popularity, Democrats scored key victories on Election Day. They maintained control of the governorship in predominantly red Kentucky, made an impressive showing in Mississippi, and enshrined a constitutional right to abortion in Ohio. The abortion issue also helped Dems flip the House of Delegates and maintain control of the State Senate in Virginia.

So was Tuesday a harbinger of 2024?

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Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz
Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz | GZERO World

Speakerless House shows weakness to US adversaries, says Rep. Mike Waltz

It's not a particularly comfortable moment to be a House Republican on Capitol Hill. Unable to agree on a Speaker, the House remains paralyzed and unable to do crucial work on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy priorities. Israel, of course, is at the top of that list. Republican Congressman Mike Waltz worries that the paralysis on Capitol Hill is playing right into the hands of America's adversaries.

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