Dem 51
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GOP 49
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The Tide Turns?

Maybe the Democrats are better off if Joe Biden stands down. Maybe they are better off if Biden stays the course. It is difficult to know, one way or another. What is more clear is that Biden looks to be riding out the storm, and retaining his place as the Democratic nominee.

It is true that there was some adverse news for the President yesterday. Let's run down those stories first:

All of this said, there was considerably more positive news for Biden yesterday:

We would suggest there are two conclusions here. The first is that while there is still some disquiet in the Democratic ranks, there is no person or entity who really matters and who is calling for Biden to step down. We continue to believe that Jill Biden could get him to drop out, and that Barack Obama probably could, too. A unified showing from the Democratic leaders of Congress might do it. And if the Congressional Black Caucus turned against Biden, that might do it, too. But all of these folks remain on board (some with more enthusiasm than others). As long as that holds, he's going to stay in the race. Bolstering that position is that the various polls show that Biden either remains in a dead heat with Trump, or is within spitting distance of him, despite a disastrous couple of weeks.

The second conclusion, and we've written this before, is that there is a very strong media narrative right now, being embraced with particular vigor by some publications, that Biden is old and infirm and must step down. No narrative can last forever (at least, not without new fuel), and the next 6 weeks will have at least three major stories, namely the RNC, the DNC and the Olympics. Is it plausible, when there are no longer a dozen "Biden is losing his mind" stories everyday, that this storyline, along with memories of the debate, will start to fade? Yes, it is plausible, particularly if Biden doesn't do anything to bring the storyline back to life again.

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, in an unusually jam-packed week/lifetime for U.S. politics. But, at the moment, the overwhelming odds remain that Biden will be the Democratic candidate in the 2024 election. (Z)

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