Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Almost Half of Voters Think Joe Biden Will Not Be the Democratic Nominee

H.L. Mencken once said: "No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public." It's not considered polite to say that in public anymore. But if you decide to say it anyway and get challenged on it, you can now cite a Monmouth University poll conducted last week in which 48% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that Joe Biden will be replaced on the Democratic ticket. The question was not: "Would you like Biden to be replaced?" No, it was "Do you think he will be replaced?" As nearly all of our readers undoubtedly realize, barring a serious health incident, Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president. Period. He will probably have enough delegates by March 6, especially now that his only remaining opponent, Rep. Dean Phillips (DFL-MN), just laid off most of his campaign staff because he ran out of money.

Yet almost half the voters think Biden will be replaced. That tells you something about their level of understanding of how politics works. Sure, there are several potential replacements who would spring into action if Biden suddenly had a stroke and died; they include Kamala Harris and Govs. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and Gavin Newsom (D-CA). But none of them are going to make the slightest move at deposing Biden if he remains healthy. It just doesn't work like that. But the voters simply don't understand how these things work.

We're not the only ones who think this. Amy Walter, over at the Cook Political Report, recently wrote a column about her being approached by friends and political junkies who are hoping or praying for a candidate swap at the convention. She tries to tell them that it ain't gonna happen, again, unless Biden is dead or seriously ill. For starters, there would be a battle royal at the convention over the new nominee. That would tear the party apart and probably guarantee that the new candidate lost. And even if a candidate could be chosen by consensus (of which none exists now) the candidate would have only 11 weeks to introduce himself or herself to the voters. If the convention passed over Harris, who is certainly the weakest of these three, Black women would be beyond furious and that alone could sink the candidate. Unless there is some kind of health emergency, this is not going to happen. But what is in equal parts amazing and disappointing, half the voters don't have a clue. It's sad. (V)

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