Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Would It Even Be Possible for the Democrats to Replace Biden Now?

There have been arguments floating around that it would be technically and/or legally impossible to replace Joe Biden as the top of the Democratic ticket already. None of these are true. One biggie is what happens to all the money in the Biden campaign account? According to Stetson University law professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, FEC rules clearly allow any candidate to transfer an unlimited amount of money to a party committee. So the Biden campaign could give every penny it's got to the DNC, which could then spend it as it wishes. It would probably spend most of it helping the presidential nominee, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Having television viewers see 15 ads per night probably isn't any more effective than having them see 12 ads per night. The rest of the money could go to candidates in tight Senate and House races, where it could be more helpful.

Another argument being batted around is that in some states it is too late for anyone else to get on the ballot. This rumor probably got started by someone who observed that Ohio had a law stating that parties can get their candidates on the ballot only if they nominate them 90 days before the election. The deadline this year was Aug. 7 and the Democratic national convention starts Aug. 19. But Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) convened a special session of the state legislature, which extended the deadline to Aug. 23. Other than this, it is obviously impossible for any state to lock Biden in before he has even been nominated. Of course, once the nomination is official and ballots start going to the printer, things get much iffier.

So technically, Biden has about 5 weeks to make up his mind. Politically, it would be foolish to wait anywhere near that long as a replacement would have to start introducing herself or himself to the country, doing interviews, holding rallies, raising money, and all that kind of stuff. Getting going fast would be especially important if there were multiple candidates who wanted the nomination. The DNC could limit it to the vice president, sitting governors, and sitting members of Congress. But if there were multiple candidates, there would have to be debates to give them all exposure. Then the 4,000 delegates would have to vote. If there were dozens of ballots, it would be a disaster. The only way out would be to have a single ranked-choice vote, possibly with a debate at the convention for the top two finishers, followed by a final vote. It would be a political nightmare but not a legal one. On the plus side, the Democrats could harp over and over and over that Trump is too old and demented and should be removed from the ballot. There are tons of video footage showing him talking nonsense. (V)

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