James Zogby, a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee, proposed an alternative presidential nomination process in the event that President Joe Biden withdraws from the race.

In the memo, submitted to DNC chair Jaime Harrison, Zogby, a pollster and founder of the Arab American Institute, outlined his vision of a “month-long really, really hyper-energized campaign” to win over convention delegates.

He proposed that the DNC meet after July 4 to establish a one-month campaign schedule leading up to the Democratic National Convention.

In the memo, Zogby acknowledged that many Democrats “are afraid of the uncertainties or even chaos” that could come if Biden stepped down. However, he stressed that the “matter of finding a replacement is no longer speculative,” and “it is urgent and isn’t going away.”

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Zogby’s proposal, contingent on the possibility of Biden stepping down, suggests Biden advise the party not to designate Vice President Kamala Harris as the nominee automatically

Under his plan, Democrats seeking to replace Biden would campaign for the support of the DNC’s 448 voting members and would need endorsements from at least 40 members to qualify as DNC-certified candidates. 

Zogby stated that requiring 40 DNC endorsements would ensure a compact field and eliminate frivolous candidates. 

“Given the relatively small number of DNC members, such a process will most likely result in no more than five potential nominees,” he wrote.

Additionally, to ensure a geographically diverse base of support, the 40 DNC endorsements must include at least four members from each of the DNC’s designated regions: East, South, Midwest and West. 

Candidates must submit their certification applications to the DNC’s secretary within a week of the process officially starting. 

According to Zogby’s memo, the DNC would then sponsor at least two “major televised events for the candidates to appear together to make their cases before Democratic voters across the country.”

The process concludes at the national convention in August in Chicago, where over 4,700 delegates will vote on a presidential nominee, taking as many ballots as needed for a candidate to achieve a majority. 

Zogby, the elected chair of the DNC’s ethnic council and an at-large member, explained in an interview that he conceived the idea after hearing from fellow Democrats who believed Biden should be replaced – discussions that began well before the debate – but were cautious about automatically supporting Harris.

“I was agnostic on that, but if that’s the concern, then the question is, how do you come up with a process that is both open and transparent and results in a candidate that is viewed as legitimate through a democratic process?” he said. “That’s what I tried to do.”

While the decision to withdraw from the race rests solely with Biden, who has reiterated his commitment to remain the Democratic candidate despite his poor debate performance, Zogby acknowledged that Harrison and other DNC members have the authority to adopt his plan or any alternative.

However, despite his more than three decades as a DNC member and advisor to several presidential campaigns, Zogby wields limited influence over the party’s current leadership, and it remains uncertain how much sway he will ultimately have in the DNC’s decision-making process. 

Nonetheless, Zogby’s proposal underscores how seriously at least some Democrats are considering the possibility of Biden stepping aside as the nominee.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment