President Joe Biden released a letter Monday saying he would ignore calls to give up his campaign for a second term and stay the course.

“I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024,” the 81-year-old incumbent wrote, noting with nearly 3,900 delegates, he is the “presumptive nominee of our party by a wide margin.”

The calls from members of his own party for him to leave the fray came after a calamitous debate performance last month.

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) is among those who are standing by the president, appearing with him at a Black church in Philadelphia on Sunday.

In her remarks at that church, Dean called Biden “an amazing man.”

“Take a look at what has been accomplished under this president. And I can tell you close up, and personally, the contrast couldn’t be greater.  I served two years before you became president with the former guy. They were very dark days in our country. We cannot go back.  It would only be worse,” said Dean.

“Democracy is on the line. There’s no greater patriot than Joe Biden to serve us,” Dean said.

Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) disagrees. She has been among those ready to throw the elderly president overboard in favor of a more electable candidate as Biden’s sinking poll numbers might influence her own reelection chances.

A poll sponsored by Democrats for the Next Generation and conducted by Emerson College in the days immediately following the first presidential debate shows Biden losing to Trump in each of the six swing states by an average of 9.4 percent of the candidates’ vote count, or four percentage points of the total votes. That poll showed Biden is down 5 percent against Trump in Pennsylvania 43 to 48 percent.

A Commonwealth poll showed Biden has a 55 percent disapproval rating among state residents.

In his latest newsletter, Franklin & Marshall College poll director Berwood Yost calls it the “Democrats’ dilemma.”

“Last fall, 41 percent of Pennsylvania’s voters thought President Biden was too old to serve another term, compared to 4 percent who thought Mr. Trump was too old and 43 percent who thought they were both too old. That sentiment was unchanged throughout the early phases of the campaign, and it is difficult to imagine it has improved since the debate,” Yost wrote.

“There is no right answer, and I’m not in any way calling for a particular outcome,” he told DVJournal. “I simply wanted to point out the issues confronting the president and his party. We haven’t polled on any other candidates yet, so we can’t be sure how a change would affect the race, which is what makes a change risky.”

Long-time Democratic consultant T.J. Rooney believes Dean is on the right track.

“Early in my service in the General Assembly, an older member suggested the most successful politicians knew that ‘Every private thought doesn’t require a public utterance.’ I believe that’s true in this case,” said Rooney. “Nobody in the Pennsylvania delegation should be among the early voices calling for the President to step aside. Most people, at least at this juncture, don’t care what the members think. Why in the world would we be eager or quick to turn on ‘one of our own’?

“Rep Wild is particularly troublesome in that both the President and First Lady have traveled to the Lehigh Valley to help her out. I assume they won’t be doing that anymore,” Rooney added pointedly.

Not surprisingly, Republicans see things differently.

David Winkler, Dean’s opponent, said, “Madeline Dean seems more focused on maintaining temporary power than prioritizing the well-being of all Americans. She lacks credibility on this subject when she avoids addressing our campaign’s call to debate, denying the people the opportunity to hear from both candidates on crucial issues.

“President Biden deserves a peaceful retirement and quality time with his family. Advancing age is impeding his ability to lead effectively. It is concerning to witness what appears to be neglect or exploitation of his elderly status by the Democrat elite,” Winkler added.

State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lower Macungie), who is challenging Wild, said, “It’s time for Susan Wild to tell the truth. While the American people are worrying about President Biden’s ability to do the job, Susan Wild is worrying about her political future. On a call with fellow Democratic representatives, Wild worried aloud about her own electability as a result of Biden’s unfitness for office. This comes after months of assurances from Susan Wild that President Biden was in great shape and requests that we ‘trust’ her about that.”

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