US Congresswoman Angie Craig is the latest Democrat in the House of Representatives to call on Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race

EAGAN, Minnesota — Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota is the latest Democrat in the House of Representatives to call on President Biden to end his campaign for a second term after his shaky debate performance last week and what she called a “lack of a strong response.”

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but the stakes are simply too high to risk a second Donald Trump presidency,” Craig said in a statement Saturday morning. “That is why I respectfully call on President Biden to step down as the Democratic nominee for a second term as president and allow a new generation of leaders to step forward.”

“Both surprised and not surprised at the same time,” said David Schultz, a professor of political science and legal studies at Hamline University.

David Schultz notes that Craig represents a critical swing district. Moderate Democrats on ballots across the country are worried that Biden’s presence on the ticket could hurt their own reelection chances, he said.

Craig, who represents Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes the southern portion of the Twin Cities metropolitan area and communities such as Lakeville, Eagan and Northfield — is one of five Democrats in the House of Representatives calling on Mr. Biden to resign. Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas was the first Democratic lawmaker to call on Mr. Biden to withdraw from the race, followed by Reps. Raul Grijalva, Seth Moulton and Mike Quigley.

In her statement, Craig said she has “great respect” for the president, but that after watching the debate “and the lack of a strong response from the president himself following that debate, she does not believe the president can campaign effectively and win against Donald Trump.”

Mr. Biden, who is 81, has worked over the past week to assuage concerns from voters and members of his own party about his suitability for a second term. He has repeatedly vowed to stay in the raceDespite multiple new polls showing that he is trailing former President Donald Trump significantly both nationally and in key states.

“I estimate that his support will literally crumble this weekend, if not more, and that will be the case for 50 percent of the population,” Schultz said.

But in her statement, Craig said that “if we truly believe that Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans must be stopped, there is only a small window left to ensure we have a candidate who is best equipped to make the case and win. This future of our country is bigger than any one of us. It’s up to the president from here.”

If Biden were to withdraw, he would have to declare himself that he is no longer a candidate, Schultz said.

The president would then release his delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

According to Schultz, Biden would either encourage delegates to vote for Vice President Kamala Harris, or he would leave delegates free to vote for whomever they want.

Schultz sees pressure mounting on Biden to resign and said it is in Democrats’ interest for him to take action as soon as possible.

“If he continues to resist this, it will only create more chaos and division in the party,” Schultz said.

On Wednesday evening, Mr. Biden said met a coalition of Democratic governors to ease their concerns after his lackluster debate performance. Afterward, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Mr. Biden “suitable for office” and pledged his support.

Mr Biden made a campaign stop Friday in the crucial state of Wisconsin and reiterated that he will not be forced to step down as the Democratic presidential candidate.

And in a interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on Friday, the president insisted that the debate was a “bad episode” and that he was feeling “terrible” due to a cold. He added that the only thing that would convince him that he could lose to Trump is if the “Lord Almighty” came down and told him so.

After the debate, the University of Virginia’s ‘Sabato’s Crystal Ball’ was presented, an important election predictorwhich shifted Minnesota from “likely Democratic” in this presidential race to “leaning Democratic,” indicating the state is more competitive than it was four years ago.

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