‘The stakes are far too high’: Shevrin Jones urges Dems to keep backing Joe Biden
Shevrin Jones . Image via Colin Hackley/Florida Politics.

Most Democratic voters agree with him, new polling shows.

One shaky night behind a debate lectern shouldn’t discourage Democrats from supporting President Joe Biden’s campaign for a second White House term, according to state Sen. Shevrin Jones.

Jones, a Miami Gardens Democrat and Biden campaign surrogate, said progressives must be steadfast behind the incumbent.

He added that Biden’s accomplishments, when contrasted with Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and felony convictions, should make deciding between the two a no-brainer this November.

“Joe Biden will be remembered as one of our best, most impactful Presidents — a two-term President,” Jones said in a statement Sunday.

“Every day on which Democrats aimlessly debate amongst one another instead of fighting Trump and his dangerous agenda, Trump wins. Donald Trump is unfit for any office and remains a threat to our democracy and danger to our rights, safety, and future as a country. The stakes are far too high to not unite behind President Biden and Vice President (Kamala) Harris.”

Jones’ statement comes less than two weeks after Biden delivered a widely criticized debate performance that prompted questions about whether he was cognitively equipped to serve another four years in the nation’s highest office.

Biden and his campaign staff have since asserted that he is more than up to the task and rejected calls that he step aside and allow Harris or another Democrat to run in his place. He called the debate “a bad night,” but “no indication of any serious condition.”

“I was exhausted,” he told NBC News. “I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing.”

At least five federal lawmakers have said Biden should step down. Major Democratic donors, including Netflix Chair Reed Hastings and former PayPal CEO Bill Harris, have also said Biden has carried the proverbial torch as far as he can.

For now, most Democrats still believe that Biden represents the party’s best chance at defeating Trump for a second consecutive time. A national poll by the PolCom Lab at Florida Atlantic University found that 55% of likely Democratic voters think Biden should still be the party nominee.

Tampa City Council member Alan Clendenin isn’t among them. He said Sunday that while Biden will be regarded well for guiding America through troubled times, the best thing he can do now is clear a path for Harris.

“Joe Biden will be remembered by historians as one of the finest Presidents in American history, but this election is about the next four years, not the last three and a half,” he said.

“The future of the Republic we know is in imminent danger and we must hold our country above our party or any one individual. As a senior member of the Democratic National Committee I believe it is in the best interest of our country and the world that President Joe Biden step aside and allow Vice President Kamala Harris to carry forward his agenda as our Democratic nominee.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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