Top Democrat Donor Cuts Off Funds Unless Biden Drops Out


Following a lackluster debate performance, President Joe Biden is contending with a revolt from some of his own party’s prominent donors, including an heiress to the Disney family fortune, who are threatening to withhold financial support unless he exits the presidential race.

Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Co., said that she would cease her financial contributions to the Democratic Party—a party she has supported for years—until Biden withdraws from the race. Despite these demands, the President has affirmed his intention to remain in the contest.

“I intend to stop any contributions to the party unless and until they replace Biden at the top of the ticket. This is realism, not disrespect. Biden is a good man and has served his country admirably, but the stakes are far too high,” Abigail Disney said to CNBC on Thursday. “If Biden does not step down the Democrats will lose. Of that I am absolutely certain. The consequences for the loss will be genuinely dire.”

Former President Donald Trump has gained a significant lead in the 2024 presidential race following Biden’s problematic debate performance, according to a recent poll by The New York Times and Siena College. This surge in support comes as concerns about Biden’s age and his effectiveness in governance have intensified among Democrats and independent voters. The poll indicates that Trump now leads Biden by 49 percent to 43 percent among likely voters nationally, marking a three-point increase in Trump’s favor since just before the debate. This is the most substantial lead Trump has achieved in a Times/Siena poll since 2015. Among registered voters, Trump’s lead is even more pronounced, at 49 percent to 41 percent.

According to the poll, a majority of every demographic, geographic, and ideological group, including Black voters and those who intend to vote for him, see the 81-year-old president as too old to effectively perform his duties. Overall, 74 percent of voters now see him as too old for the presidency, a significant increase of five percentage points since last week’s debate.

Among Democrats, concerns about Biden’s age have surged by eight percentage points in the week following the debate, now affecting 59 percent of Democratic voters. The sentiment among independent voters is even stronger, with 79 percent expressing concerns about Biden’s age, a figure that nearly aligns with Republican perspectives.

Despite Biden’s reaffirmation on Wednesday of his intention to remain in the presidential race, his weak debate performance last week continues to unsettle donors and strategists. Concerns about his viability in the November election have spurred a significant financial movement. A coalition of concerned supporters is mobilizing to create a substantial escrow fund, known as the Next Generation PAC, aimed at gathering up to $100 million. This fund is intended to support an alternative candidate should Biden step aside according to a report by The Times.

If Biden decides to continue his campaign, the collected funds might instead benefit down-ballot Democratic candidates. This initiative reflects the strategic positioning underway among supporters of potential successors, including Vice President Kamala Harris. Moreover, more donors are threatening to suspend their financial support not only for Biden but also for other Democratic entities unless he withdraws from the race.

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Scoop Diggins