Just an hour into Thursday night’s presidential debate, Andrew Yang — a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate — called on Biden to step aside.

“Guys, the Dems should nominate someone else — before it’s too late. #swapJoeout,” Yang wrote on X.

Source: WaPo

Can Joe Biden be removed as the Democratic candidate for President and how would this be done?

  • 5
    The question would probably be much better if generalized a bit. Like how could a major US party decide on a different candidate once the primaries are over. Or something else. It doesn't really depend on the specific candidate. Commented Jun 28 at 8:40
  • @NoDataDumpNoContribution I doubt popularity is why. IMO it's more likely because it's really hard to win a party's nomination over an incumbent first-term President who decides to run for reelection. (Has it ever been done?) The reason there's no potential candidate who's popular right now is because no one spent the time, effort, and money to make themselves popular enough to run. Because they didn't see any way to beat Biden - before last night, anyway.
    – Just Me
    Commented Jun 28 at 12:59
  • 1
    @JustMe But we shouldn't speculate or try to predict the future here. We can only answer what is possible and that should not really depend on the specific person. The law/mechanisms should be the same 8 years ago and now. If anything the duplicate is too narrow. Maybe there is something else that can be done. For example the candidate chooses a running mate that is the real candidate and promises to go on day one. Might also work (theoretically) without ignoring the primaries. Commented Jun 28 at 13:20
  • 2
    @JustMe Biden being a sitting President changes nothing about the nomination and voting process. There are several duplicates that apply here.
    – Machavity
    Commented Jun 28 at 15:09
  • 2
    @JustMe There's still no 25th Amendment angle to this question, though. Even if you removed Biden (which is a big if), it still is up to the Democrats to decide who their nominee is. Now, if you want to ask if a sustained 25th amendment vote by Congress precludes a person from running for office again, that's fine. That's not, however, what this question is asking.
    – Machavity
    Commented Jun 28 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


The Democratic nominee will be selected during the Democratic convention in August. In that sense, President Biden is not the Democratic nominee yet, he is just the primary candidate with an overwhelming number of pledged delegates. As long as President Biden decides to run for the nomination, the Democratic Party rules expect the pledged delegates to stand by their pledge.

Convincing a majority of the pledged delegates to break their pledge is no politically feasible course of action, so one would have to convince President Biden to withdraw from the race. He cannot be removed from the candidacy, but he can remove himself if he wishes.

  • 5
    @Allure, I don't think that scenario would be breaking the pledge. Did they ever have a precedent in living memory?
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 28 at 5:10
  • 4
    Within living memory? Don't think so, but there was the 1872 election where some electors pledged to the deceased (presidential) candidate voted for someone else.
    – Allure
    Commented Jun 28 at 5:16
  • 2
    @JustMe Nothing in the 25th Amendment addresses candidacy, and nothing in the candidacy processes of either party references previous 25th Amendment activity.
    – Jay McEh
    Commented Jun 28 at 13:45
  • 1
    @JustMe, edited to clarify. I agree with Jay that the 25th does not appear to apply to candidates.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 28 at 14:08
  • 1
    @PeteW, I see room for senior Democrats telling Biden to withdraw, and him listening to them. A different mechanism from engineering a revolt of the delegates. And I disagree with your characterization of the groups that would do it regarding Israel. Yes, they have a lobby. But that lobby could not push a more pro-Israel candidate than Biden on the Democrats.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 30 at 5:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .