Netflix co-founder and major Democratic donor calls for Biden to exit race

Billionaire Democratic donor and Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings has called for Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race after his dismal debate showing against Donald Trump last week.

In what marks a major blow to his reelection campaign, Hastings, 63, has became one of the party’s first, and most pivotal, benefactors to call on the 81-year-old president to step aside.

The entrepreneur, who has an estimated net worth of $4.8bn, told The New York Times: “Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous.”

Hastings, who co-founded the streaming giant in 1997, and his wife Patty Quillin have donated more than $20m to the Democrats in recent years, including $1.5m to Biden in his 2020 bid for office.

Hastings and Quillin also donated $100,000 last year toward Biden’s 2024 presidential run.

Now, the major donors’ funding looks set to dry up.

Calls are growing for Biden to step aside after he lost his train of thought and, at points, froze up completely on CNN’s debate stage in Georgia, Alabama, last Thursday.

President Joe Biden looks on during his debate with Donald Trump in June 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden looks on during his debate with Donald Trump in June 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

One in three Democrats now believe Biden should quit the race, according to a poll commissioned by Reuters on Wednesday.

Some polls have also tipped further in favor of Donald Trump, who has now taken a six-point lead over the Democrat presidential candidate.

As of Thursday, three senior Democrats had publicly urged Biden to give up his Democratic ticket or warned he will lose in November.

Despite this, the White House has denied reports that Democratic party donors and members are urging him to stand down behind closed doors and, in public comments, Biden has vowed to stay in the race.

The president and his aides have also sought to share a litany of excuses for his poor debate performance ranging from suffering from a cold to jet lag.

Yet, Reid Hoffman, another of the Democrat’s loyal megadonors, continued to staunchly back Biden in an email sent to his network.

In the note shared on X by The New York Times reporter Teddy Schleifer, Hoffman wrote it was counterproductive to be “musing on Biden’s flaws” and that they should revert their energies to “Trump’s flaws”.