One of the top options to replace Biden publicly bows out

One of the top options to replace Biden publicly bows out
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan vowed she wouldn't run if President Joe Biden exited the race.

  • Whitmer has repeatedly backed the president and his 2024 run.

  • Leaked polling found Whitmer was popular among Democrats and outperformed Biden.

Since President Joe Biden's awful debate performance, Democrats and voters alike have been speculating about who could replace him in the race.

But one of the top options, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, has said to count her out.

The two-term Democratic governor told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the launch of her new book, "True Gretch," that she would not join the 2024 race if Biden stepped down.

"It's a distraction more than anything," Whitmer told the AP in a story published Monday. "I don't like seeing my name in articles like that because I'm totally focused on governing and campaigning for the ticket."

Whitmer, a national cochair of Biden's reelection campaign, has repeatedly reiterated her support of the president.

On the social-media platform X, Whitmer wrote in a post last week that she's all in on Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, adding, "Help me elect Democrats up and down the ticket."

In a follow-up post, she said: "Joe Biden is our nominee. He is in it to win it and I support him."

Whitmer was part of a coalition of 24 Democratic governors who met with Biden on Wednesday to discuss the fallout from his debate performance and his path to victory, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Though Whitmer said she would not replace Biden on the ticket, she might have a decent chance if she did, according to an internal Democratic polling memo leaked to Puck.

The polling memo, crafted by OpenLabs 72 hours after the debate, said Whitmer was polling just behind Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg among voters in swing states. Biden was ranked last among the five options, with Harris second to last, the leaked poll found.

While some polls show Biden losing ground since the debate, a new Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll found Biden was still ahead of Trump in Michigan — a must-win for the incumbent this November — and narrowing Trump's lead in other key swing states.

As for Whitmer's presidential prospects, she has for years said she doesn't want to ever run for president.

For example, she told the Free Press in 2022, "The lure of Washington, DC, has not been something that has ever drawn my interest or attention."

But lately, she's been changing her tune. In a speech to hundreds of fellow politicians at a Washington event in March, Whitmer said, "See you in 2029," hinting at a 2028 run, The Washington Post reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider