What if Biden drops out?
The question would have been absurd a week or ten days back. The geniuses in the mainstream media regarded the calls for Biden to drop out as loony demands from the fringe left. The story is now much mainstream and gaining coverage with every passing day.
New documents corroborating the allegations of sexual assault against Biden surfaced. The Biden campaign hasn’t yet offered any comment. For a while now, the strategy of the Biden campaign to approach the next six months has seemed unclear. It almost looks like the only strategy of the Democrats is to wait for Trump to self-explode.
The strategy is not bad. The only problem is that they are not accounting for their own candidate to explode.
Every passing day brings to the present new layers of allegations against the former vice president. Calls for Biden to drop out are no longer coming from the ‘fringe left’ as geniuses claimed earlier.
Biden’s denial on MSNBC’s Morning Joe didn’t sit well with Democratic voters either. According to a Morning Consult poll, one in four Democrats wanted a new candidate on the ticket after watching Biden’s denial. Democrats, who stood with Dr Ford in 2018 to stop Judge Kavanagh’s nomination, will be thought of as hypocrites if they continue to stand with Biden.
The insistence of top Democratic leadership to defend the presumptive, at least until now, suggests there is no pressure on Biden to drop out.
What if the calls for Biden to drop out rachet up further, forcing the former vice president to fall on his sword? The scenario after that is confusing. Rumours about Hillary Clinton riding into the convention like a white knight are swirling, but they lack credibility.
What happens if Biden drops out?
Case One – DNC Goes Forward With the Rules
DNC rules dictate that all candidates will retain the delegates they won in each state in the first ballot. In this case, Biden will be the winner. However, if he drops out, no other candidate will have the majority to win the nomination. Sanders in second place does not have enough delegates to take the nomination if Biden drops out.
In this case, with no candidate having the necessary number of delegates, the convention will move to the second ballot. The second ballot would bring in superdelegates who could effectively decide the Democratic nominee.
The superdelegates comprise of DNC establishment figures such as former presidents, vice presidents, congressional leaders, party chairs, governors, and so on. This motley group of people can effectively decide the next nominee irrespective of the delegates each candidate had in the first ballot.
Needless to say, there is no chance Senator Sanders will be given the nomination in the second ballot. If a Hillary Clinton candidacy is to become a reality, it will come through the second ballot. Naturally, this can only happen if the calls for Biden to drop out become untenable for the DNC leadership to ignore.
Case Two – Biden to Drop Out and Make his VP the nominee
The VP choice in this scenario could have a large role to play in who becomes the nominee if Biden drops out. Generally, the VP choice is largely inconsequential. However, Biden’s candidacy is unique in this regard.
Rather than having a second ballot, the DNC could give Biden’s delegates to his running mate (you see now why Stacey Abrams is the only American excited about Biden).
It is, for this reason, Biden would want his nominee to be someone very loyal to him. An opportunist like Clinton would stab him in the back without a moment’s hesitation to become the nominee.
None of these cases spell good news for progressives. If Bernie’s good friend Biden drops out, progressives must ensure that the only progressive in the running is treated fairly.
(Image Credit – US Department of State)