Democratic donors give Biden a two-week grace period for polls to fall after debate (2024)




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Published July 1, 2024, 11:50 p.m. ET

Biden campaign donors are giving the president a two-week grace period in the wake of his disastrous debate performance against former President Donald Trump, The Post has learned.

Any decline in the 81-year-old president’s polling numbers after those two weeks are up will become problematic and difficult for donors to stomach, a source privy to a call with top campaign contributors on Monday told The Post.

The Democratic National Finance Committee tamped down speculation that Biden could end his re-election bid during an hour-plus long Zoom call intended to put top donors at ease.

Democratic donors give Biden a two-week grace period for polls to fall after debate (1)

“The call was very reassuring,” the source said. “He’s all in, moving forward. He will do better at the next debate. The campaign is going about business as usual.”

“They got rid of any speculation he will drop out — the whole call is about the path forward.”

What to know about the fallout from President Biden's debate performance:

  • President Biden’s poor performance in the first 2024 presidential debate has left even some Democrats unsure of his fitness for office and future as the party’s candidate.
  • Former President Barack Obama admitted that Biden had a “bad” debate, while his rival former President Donald Trump suggested that he was in a “trance” and “choked.”
  • Biden told a crowd at a North Carolina rally the day after the debate that he doesn’t “debate as well as I used to” — but insisted that he can still “do this job.”
  • The New York Times editorial board called on the president to serve the country by dropping out of the race. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a similar editorial a day later.
  • Biden gathered with his family at Camp David to assess the campaign’s future, with his son Hunter reportedly pushing for him to stay in the race. Family members questioned whether the president’s top advisers should be fired after the disastrous debate.
  • In a pre-taped interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, Biden claimed that his “bad episode” at the debate was the result of a cold and not any cognitive issues.
  • Biden has rejected calls for him to step down from fellow Democrats, insisting to Stephanopoulos that he is the most qualified to win the election. At a Wisconsin rally, he declared that he is “running and going to win again.”

The committee told donors the internal surveys are very strong and claimed that it hasn’t detected any post-debate dip in Biden’s polling numbers.

Someone on the call apparently shared that the president will do more to address the nation in the hopes of getting donors, media and voters to focus on the issues rather than the debate – but they don’t want Biden going off script.

“They want to get him out there … but make sure it’s scripted,” the source said.

“They are going to have teleprompter at every possible event they can,” the person added.

The Biden campaign disputed this was the case.

“Their takeaway on teleprompters was incorrect,” a Biden campaign spokesperson told The Post. “No one on the Biden campaign said that.”

Democratic donors give Biden a two-week grace period for polls to fall after debate (2)
  • Watch Biden’s worst moments during the presidential debate
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  • Trump inches ahead of Biden nationally after prez’s disastrous debate: new poll

  • Biden campaign working overtime to ‘minimize’ concern after disastrous debate, hold hastily arranged DNC call
  • Biden admits, ‘I know I’m not a young man in new battleground state ad after debate disaster

Biden addressed the nation Monday in a White House remarks slamming the Supreme Court’s decision to grant Trump, 78, absolute immunity related to official acts he committed while serving as president.

Biden, reading closely from a pair of teleprompters, refused to answer shouted questions from reporters about his disastrous showing at Thursday’s CNN debate or the future of his re-election campaign.

“He’s calm and focused on the future,” the source said of what Democratic officials relayed about Biden’s current state of mind.

“Donors are not asking for their money back,” the person insisted.

A Morning Consult poll released Monday found that 44% of registered voters are backing Trump compared to 43% for Biden.

The survey was conducted between June 28 and June 30 – in the days after last week’s debate – and showed Biden’s numbers falling from a June 16 poll, in which the president was ahead of Trump by 1 point.

Democratic donors give Biden a two-week grace period for polls to fall after debate (2024)


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