Top pollster says ‘struggling’ Biden, 81, needs to consider ‘dropping out’ as swing state voters reveal who they want to take his place

A top pollster advised President Joe Biden to consider stepping down as the Democratic nominee for president if he continues polling poorly by August.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight shared his analysis on the election during a podcast interview with the Risky Business podcast with Maria Konnikova.

He said that 81-year-old Biden was behind in the majority of swing state polls, calling it a ‘really really really bad sign for his campaign.’

‘If Biden is still struggling in August he needs to consider stepping aside,’ Silver wrote on X, sharing video of his analysis.

A top pollster advised President Joe Biden to consider stepping down as the Democratic nominee for president if he continues polling poorly by August 

Silver admitted it would be politically very difficult for Democrats if Biden dropped out, but that it was something the party should consider.

‘It’s not a great situation for Ds either way, but you have to do due diligence on the question,’ he said. ‘It’s an important election, obviously. It shouldn’t be taboo to talk about.’

Biden’s behavior during a press conference with with Kenyan President William Ruto Thursday raised questions about his mental stability as he repeatedly asked for stage directions and appeared surprised when reporters started shouting questions at him.

Silver’s analysis ties in with a new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll asking swing state voters who they would prefer to take Biden’s place if he was unable to continue as the Democratic presidential nominee.

The poll’s choices included Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Forty-five percent of the polled voters chose Harris, Whitmer and Buttigieg are tied at 36 percent, Newsom got 32 percent support, Moore earned 23 percent, and Pritzker got 21 percent. 

The vice president has stepped up her campaign travel in 2024, working to shore up support, especially in swing states.

In 2024, Harris has visited North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin four times each, Georgia three times, and Arizona and Michigan twice.

The poll shows that swing state voters are growing more familiar with Harris and have already set their opinion about her.

While 45 percent supported Harris as the replacement for Biden, 46 percent of voters in the poll opposed Harris as the replacement, including 38 percent strongly opposing her as the choice.

Kamala Harris

Gavin Newsom

Voters in swing states favored Vice President Kamala Harris to replace Biden over California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Pete Buttigieg

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg are tied at 36 percent 

Only 9 percent of voters said they did not know or did not have an opinion of Harris.

About 30 percent of voters in the poll said that they did not know or have an opinion of Democrats like Whitmer, Newsom, and Buttigieg.

Over 50 percent of voters did not have an opinion formed of lesser known political figures like Pritzker and Moore.

Despite her struggles with voters, Harris expressed her willingness to fight in a recent interview with Mav Carter, the manager and business partner of baseball star LeBron James.

‘Elections and campaigning, it very much is like a fight, you know people will say oh it’s like a marathon, it’s like a marathon when people are throwing tomatoes at you every step of the way,’ Harris said.

The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll surveyed 4,962 registered voters online in seven swing states from May 7-13.