President Biden Has Until March 19 To Back Out Of Race

With one of the 2024 presidential candidates always being targeted with indictments and the other described as having diminished capacities, voters are asking a fundamental question as they get ready to head to the ballot box: “What happens if a candidate, for whatever reason, has to drop out of the race?”

A rematch between President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee former President Donald Trump would be the first time in the country’s history a major party’s nominee was running while under indictment. Trump faces over 90 charges in four indictments from New York to Florida. The former president and his businesses also face several civil lawsuits.

For Biden, age has been a concern among voters heading into the election. Still, a recent report from the Justice Department special counsel investigating his handling of classified documents thrust the issue into the spotlight after portraying Biden as an elderly man with diminished capacities and memory loss.

With Biden’s age, what would happen in a hypothetical situation where he would drop out of the race because he’s become incapacitated? Here’s how things would play out if Biden dropped out before the 2024 race for the White House.

Experts say if a candidate drops out before the national conventions, held in August for Democrats, the path to finding the next nominee becomes more complicated. So, why are the conventions so important?

The national party conventions are held every presidential election year to select each party’s nominee officially.

After states hold their primaries, a certain number of delegates are allocated to a candidate based on the votes they received in the respective state. These delegates represent the candidate at each party’s convention. The candidate must accumulate a majority of delegate votes to become the official party nominee.

Another piece that comes into play is when Biden would drop out during the primary season. If a candidate drops out early on before racking up a large number of delegates, other White House hopefuls may decide they want to try to win the nomination by gaining the remaining delegates.

In a scenario where Biden drops out before the delegate selection process concludes, Putnam said it becomes more of a “free for all” as to how state parties would fill the delegate slots. These delegates would participate in the convention and potentially nominate someone who wasn’t on the ballot.

Biden has said he will remain in the race, and there is no indication otherwise. Still, the only plausible scenario for Democrats to get a new nominee would be for Biden to withdraw.

If Biden were to relinquish the presidency, Vice President Kamala Harris would automatically become president, but not the Democratic Party’s nominee. Nor would she necessarily be the nominee if Biden withdrew from his re-election bid while remaining in the White House.