Ritchie Torres calls for ‘serious reckoning’ over Biden: ‘Blindness is not bliss’

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday called for a “serious reckoning” among Democrats over whether to keep President Biden as the party’s nominee.

“In determining how to proceed as a party, there must be a serious reckoning with the down-ballot effect of whomever we nominate,” Torres said in a post on the social platform X.

“What matters is not how we feel but what the numbers tell us,” he added.

Torres warned of the potential down-ballot consequences of ignoring the president’s declining polling numbers since the first presidential debate, when Biden’s poor performance set off alarm bells in the party over his ability to beat former President Trump in November.

Since then, seven House Democrats publicly have called on Biden to step aside, while others have expressed similar concerns privately. Many Democrats, meanwhile, have doubled down on their support for the president amid continued fallout from the debate. Biden, his campaign and his supporters maintain that the president is the best candidate to defeat Trump and is prepared to do the job for another four years.

Torres, just this past Monday, criticized Democrats’ lack of a unified message on Biden, saying the “drip, drip, drip of public statements of no confidence only serve to weaken a President who has been weakened not only by the debate but also by the debate about the debate.”

“Donors do not decide the Democratic nominee. The People do,” Torres said in a separate post on Monday, responding to a headline about Democratic donors calling for Biden to step aside.

Now, however, Torres said it’s time for Democrats to examine the “cold hard numbers.”

“An unsentimental analysis of the cold hard numbers—which have no personal feelings or political loyalties—should inform what we decide and whom we nominate,” Torres said Wednesday.

“If we’re going to choose a particular path, we should be clear-eyed about its consequences. Blindness is not bliss amid the terrifying threat of a Trump presidency,” he continued.

His Wednesday statement comes after new polling suggests Democrats now face tougher odds to defeat Trump in November.

The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report made six changes on Tuesday to its Electoral College ratings — all of them in Republicans’ favor: Arizona, Georgia and Nevada all moved from toss-up status to “lean Republican,” while Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nebraska’s 2nd District all moved from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.”

Torres responded to the Cook updates Tuesday, calling them “alarming and sobering” in a separate post on X.

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