This article was originally published for the National Journal on July 5, 2024.

We are now in a situation with far more questions than answers. New developments only create new questions.

Will President Biden step aside in the wake of his unfortunate debate performance or not? If he continues to seek reelection, will anyone challenge his nomination? If he continues his reelection bid, is his candidacy futile? What are the downballot implications in the Senate and the House—i.e., will the Democratic base become disillusioned, dampening turnout such that the House and Senate are both lost? Even if Biden ultimately does step aside, how long will he wait to decide and announce that decision and how will that impact the process to replace him? Will Vice President Kamala Harris be effectively anointed, or will she have to fight for the nomination? Would she prevail in such a contest?

First things first: While few swing voters actually watch debates, they do see the secondary coverage and hear the tertiary chatter afterward. Historically bad debate performances are usually driven by a candidate having

More from the Cook Political Report

CPR 2024 National Polling Average
Cook Politcal Logo
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo