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What happens if a presidential nominee drops out of the race?

If Trump or President Biden drop out of the race after being nominated, then delegates from their party would be free to vote on whomever they want.
What happens if a presidential nominee drops out of the race?
Posted at 7:32 AM, Feb 19, 2024

In a normal election year, no one is wondering if a presidential candidate will be replaced after being nominated by their party. But this year, it's a topic of conversation.

After all, both leading candidates are in their late 70s or early 80s. And one of their memories is being called into question by a special prosecutor while the other could face four criminal trials this year.

A new poll from Monmouth University found 48% of respondents believe President Joe Biden is very likely or somewhat likely to be replaced as the Democratic nominee this year. In the same poll, 32% thought former President Donald Trump would be replaced.

The reasons behind those viewpoints varied. For some, it's ongoing legal issues. For others, it's age.

But how do you replace a nominee after the primaries?

Political conventions in recent years have become scripted, made-for-tv events. But they didn't used to be that way.

For decades, political conventions were where nominees were actually decided on by their respective parties. If Trump or President Biden are unable to be a nominee after the primaries, delegates of the convention would then likely become free to vote for whomever they want.

SEE MORE: What's next in the presidential race after New Hampshire

Democrats have rules that say the Democratic National Committee would make a new pick after talking with governors or members of Congress. Meanwhile, Republican rules say a new convention could be called or party leadership could pick their nominee.

However, if this scenario does happen, both parties would be racing against the clock since some states begin voting for president in late September. And just because you are a vice presidential nominee, doesn't necessarily mean you are automatically the presidential nominee for president if someone else drops out of the race.

The Republican convention is slated for July in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While the Democratic convention is to be held in August in Chicago. 

It seems almost certain that Trump and President Biden will be the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. But for some reason, polls indicate that many Americans still doubt that.

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