Calls for Gavin Newsom to replace Joe Biden as Democratic Presidential nominee rise after debate

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) speaks to reporters in the spin room following the CNN Presidential Debate between U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump squared off in Atlanta Thursday night for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season.

While the debate after the debate — who "won" Thursday night — still rages on, some are using a perceived poor performance by Biden as a chance to suggest a new Democratic candidate. More than 90% of FOX 11 viewers polled said Biden was the loser Thursday night. 

But who do people think could replace Biden on the ticket? Many are suggesting it could be California's own Governor, Gavin Newsom.

Former Republican Candidate Nikki Haley made noise after the debate, saying she anticipated the Democratic Party changing its nominee.

"Mark my words… Biden will not be the Democrat nominee," she wrote on X. "Republicans, get your guard up!"

For some on social media, the change from Biden to Newsom seemed inevitable. One person on X called the California Governor "Biden's eventual replacement," while another said Newsom is "stretching in the bullpen," preparing to become the nominee.

Others drew attention to the massive crowd around the Governor during his time in the Spin Room, using it as evidence he'd make a popular candidate.

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Despite social media seemingly calling for Newsom to replace Biden on the ticket, Newsom refuted the idea every chance he got Thursday night.

When asked by one reporter in the Spin Room after the debate, whether he thought he'd be the next Democratic nominee, Newsom said "Our nominee is Joe Biden. I'm looking forward to voting for him in November. He's going to be our nominee."

Responding to another group of reporters, Newsom implied replacing Biden would be akin to a betrayal.

"I will never turn my back on President Biden. Never turn my back on President Biden. I don't know a Democrat in my party who would do so," Newsom said. "And especially after tonight. We have his back. We run not the 90-yard dash, we are all in. We are going to double down in the next few months. We are going to win this election."

When asked if he had any doubts about Biden's capabilities as president, Newsom said he had "none. I've spent a lot of time with him. I know Joe Biden. I know what he's accomplished in the last three and a half years. I know what he's capable of. I know his vision, and I have no trepidation."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.