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House Dems slide further into crisis over Biden mess

House Dems slide further into crisis over Biden mess

In the absence of any formal guidance from House Democratic leadership, the caucus’ at-risk incumbents are continuing to fret behind the scenes about the post-presidential debate political reality.

So far, only two Frontliners — Reps. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) — have publicly called on President Joe Biden to step aside in the presidential race. But in conversations with nearly a dozen vulnerable members Wednesday, almost all expressed concerns that Biden remaining on the ticket could sink their reelection bids.

DCCC-designated Frontliners met with leadership directly twice this week. In both meetings, there were fraught conversations where the vulnerable Democrats relayed serious concerns that Biden’s candidacy would tank their political futures.

There also was a widespread lack of confidence among these Democrats that Biden could turn the race around.

House Democratic leaders continue to listen to the dire warnings from their members without staking out a clear stance. Multiple Democrats we heard from urged their higher-ups to quickly come to a decision on the path forward. These members worry that the longer the confusion reigns, the worse it is for the party.

Many Democrats will be closely monitoring how Biden does during his solo press conference later today. A poor performance during the presser could open the floodgates for more Democrats to call for Biden to step down from the ticket.

A number of Frontliners are sticking by the president publicly, however.

Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-Ill.) said she will support Biden as he “has made it clear that he will stay in the race for the presidency.” Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) added he backs Biden and thinks he should stay on the ticket.

— Max Cohen, Mica Soellner and Melanie Zanona

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