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Wealthy Democratic Donors Are Starting to Pressure Biden to Toss in the Towel

Democratic megadonors have had enough of Joe Biden's waffling and want him out. They are going to use their wallets to serve as both carrots and sticks. Their decisions—and his—could have a huge effect not only on the presidential race, but also downballot.

One potential problem with Biden stepping down is that the Biden campaign has $91 million in a bank account owned by an entity that might not be able to legally transfer the money to a different candidate, except—maybe—Kamala Harris. There could be court cases about this and the Democrats don't want a ruling sometime in late 2026. So a group of big donors is trying to collect $100 million to put in a sort of escrow account called Next Generation PAC. It could be used to help a new presidential candidate, or, if need be, to help downballot Democrats. The idea is to have a large chunk of money that can be used as needed.

Reed Hastings, the executive chairman of Netflix and a major Democratic donor, has openly called for Biden to call it quits. He has also said that all the other megadonors he has talked to agree with him. Gideon Stein, another big donor, said he was witholding $3.5 million until Biden stepped down. Abigail Disney, an heir to the Disney fortune, sent an email to the DNC saying that it and the other Democratic committees "will not receive another dime from me until they bite the bullet and replace Biden at the top of the ticket."

If Biden forges ahead, it could create a serious problem with the big donors refusing to pony up. Biden has done well with small donors, but now with Donald Trump doing well with large donors, the Democrats can't afford to alienate their big donors. One thing working for the Democrats is that while they are worried about bigoted white men refusing to vote for a Black woman, say, just as an example, Kamala Harris, the big donors are not like that. They understand that the Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally very different and who the Democratic presidential candidate is doesn't matter so much except as to who is more likely to win. (V)

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