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Kamala Harris Trends Online As Calls For Biden To Exit Presidential Race Rise


image ofKamala Harris & Joe Biden

A sudden surge of social media chatter around Vice President Kamala Harris has intensified discussions about whether President Joe Biden will end his campaign following last week’s debate. This conversation gained traction on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Jay Caspian Kang, a staff writer for The New Yorker, noted the trend, saying, “My entire feed is now Kamala pilled.”

By Wednesday morning, “Kamala” was trending in politics on X with around 188,000 posts. Many posts showed a mix of genuine support and ironic bemusement. Some of Harris’ memorable lines became running jokes. At various points on Tuesday, “KHive,” the name for her vocal online supporters, was among the top 20 topics on X.

The Biden campaign’s hold on the nomination, which seemed secure before the debate, now appears shaky. Concerns that could have diminished over the weekend have instead grown, possibly influenced by recent conservative victories at the Supreme Court. A Democratic congressman has called for Biden to withdraw, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on MSNBC that it was legitimate to question whether the debate performance was part of a “condition.”

The social media momentum for Harris is based on the idea that she would replace Biden rather than compete in an open convention. If Biden drops out, she would inherit Biden’s campaign funds. A recent Biden vs Trump polls showed her outperforming Biden in a head-to-head matchup with the presumptive Republican nominee, former President Donald Trump.

Betting markets have also shifted in Harris’ favor. On PredictIt, Harris recently overtook Biden as the most likely candidate to receive the Democratic nomination. This marks a significant change from June 26, when she had almost no chance.

On Wednesday morning, Biden’s betting odds dropped further, and Harris’ surged after The New York Times reported that Biden told an ally he was considering whether to stay in the race. This report, based on an anonymous source, has not been confirmed by NBC News, and the White House has denied it.

By late Wednesday morning, the Drudge Report featured Harris on its homepage with the headline: “IT’S HER PARTY NOW.” This marks a stark contrast to 2022, when Harris and her KHive were almost absent from social media discussions. At that time, Harris’ declining popularity had weakened her online support.

Concerns about Biden have seemingly united different factions within the Democratic Party. Some online users even joked about a “Kamala Harris Apology Form” for those who did not support her previously. Others referenced being “coconut-pilled,” a meme stemming from a speech Harris gave in May 2023, where she used the phrase, “You think you just fell out of a coconut tree?” This phrase became a meme due to its unusual phrasing and tone shift.

As Election 2024 approaches, the Biden news cycle continues to focus on whether he will maintain his candidacy or if a Biden replacement scenario is imminent.

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