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A sunken Biden and a grown-up Trump: What did the presidential debate leave?

Panic has spread among Democrats, who are openly discussing the need for an alternative to the incumbent president, while Republicans are experiencing a surge of euphoria.

Trump and Biden, at a moment of the debate.(Will Lanzoni / CNN via ZUMA Press Wire / Cordon Press)

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Joe Biden must get out. That is the message circulating among all Americans, whatever their political color. In fact, at the moment it is even more intense among Democratic voters, who began the debate with uncertainty and ended it bewildered and with a sense of orphanhood, demanding an alternative, even with anguish. A situation that contrasts with the feeling of a job well done on the Republican side. The question that Donald Trump left posted on his Truth Social account sums up the general feeling of the nation: Would the president stand another four years?

In any case, the issue goes far beyond one party's nominee. This is the president of the world's leading power, and yesterday's debate only increased doubts about his ability to remain at the helm, especially at a time of international instability such as the present.

Democratic panic: Biden is not here - nor is he expected

The concurrence of the president in the debate brought many of the comments that were made behind his back and sotto voceto the fore. Even his staunchest defenders, to say the least, wavered, while the majority openly demanded that he make way for another candidate. In the social media accounts of active Democrats, the silence regarding the debate was deafening.

In the media, The New York Times features veteran Democrats and progressive-leaning analysts voicing the need for the president to step down. In fact, Thomas L. Friedman, in his column, openly calls for him to go. Friedman, who acknowledges that he finished the debate in tears, noted that "The Biden family and his political team must quickly come together and have the most difficult of conversations with the president, a conversation of love, clarity and resolve."

I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime — precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election.Thomas L. Friedman. The New York Times

From The Washington Post, twelve of its top firms dumped their opinions under a shattering headline: "We may not have a Biden-Trump rematch in the end." They also echo the "Democratic panic" after a night of horror. The CNN poll, home of the debate, on who won the debate gives a measure of the magnitude of the disaster: 67% of viewers give the victory to Trump, compared to 33% pointing to Biden. One of the event's moderators, Van Jones, summed up the president's performance, "It was painful."

Harris candidate or new primary?

The debate soon splashed over the partner in Biden's election ticket. Visibly serious, Vice President Kamala Harris put on a face, focusing her message on the mantra that the Democratic Party, the White House and left-wing pundits hold to cover up the disaster: "Trump's lies."

However, her name was in the corridors more to assess whether she is a good alternative to Biden as a front-runner or whether other people like Michelle Obama or Gavin Newsom should be looked at to have any chance of winning the election. Harris' popularity is even below that of the Executive Leader, raising serious doubts among Democratic analysts and voters.

Low profile of the Democratic front-runners

The favorites to take Biden's place in the event that he makes the long-awaited step back kept a low profile. Michelle Obama made no public comment, but remains the best positioned to be the Democratic nominee should the seat become vacant. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz did not hesitate to single her out, recalling his prediction nine months ago and sharing messages. In a tweet, he shared the most-repeated topics on Twitter at a time when "dementia" and "Michelle Obama" appeared at the top.

The second dark horse in the race, California Governor Gavin Newsom, chose to come out in defense of Biden, to whom he showed his full support as his party's nominee in remarks to MSNBC: "You don't turn your back on a performance. What kind of party does that? This president has delivered. We have to deliver for him right now."

Republicans already see themselves in the White House

The Democratic silence and regret contrasted with Republican joy, whose members and supporters celebrated the debate as a victory at the ballot box as they lambasted the president. For House Speaker Mike Johnson, "Tonight's debate made it clear: This November, we must expand the majority in the House, win the Senate and RE-ELECT PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP."

Trump's wink to Hispanic and black voters

Trump did not miss the opportunity to send a message to black and Hispanic voters, among whom his support is growing significantly. The Republican candidate held Biden directly responsible for two of the main concerns of both communities:

"He caused inflation, it's killing black families, and it's killing Hispanic families and just about everybody. The fact is that his big kill on the Black people is the millions of people that he’s allowed to come in through the border. They’re taking Black jobs now."
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