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Loyal Democratic Voters React to Biden Interview With Relief, and Despair

Loyal Democratic Voters React to Biden Interview With Relief, and Despair

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At least it wasn’t as bad as the debate.

That was the verdict from some devoted Democratic voters who nervously tuned in to watch President Biden’s interview with ABC News on Friday. They were anxious to see the president respond to concerns about his age and cognitive abilities, and show wavering voters that he could serve another four years.

“I think he showed in this interview he’s cognitively there,” said Jayden D’Onofrio, 19, chairman of the Florida Future Leaders PAC, which represents high-school and college Democrats in the state. “He was very straightforward about the fact that, yes, he is older. We have to recognize that.”

But John Avalos, a progressive Democrat and former member of the San Francisco board of supervisors, said the interview made him weep. He was frustrated that Mr. Biden would not submit to a cognitive test, and said Mr. Biden’s doubling down on his refusal to leave the race could spell electoral doom for Democrats.

“Biden is not demonstrating the traits that generate much confidence,” Mr. Avalos said. “There are 300 million people who rely on his cognitive abilities, and he’s unwilling to take a test because of his pride?”

Other Democratic voters said they thought Mr. Biden made clearer and more cogent arguments against former President Donald J. Trump than he had during the debate last week, and said Mr. Biden seemed more at ease.

“I tell you, he looked a whole lot better than the debate,” said William Davis, a precinct delegate in Detroit and retired water treatment plant worker. “I think he did well. I’m a little nervous that he’s not going to be able to keep it up.”

Mr. Davis said he was still unsure whether the president should stay in the race, despite Mr. Biden’s insistence on Friday that only the “Lord almighty” would cause him to leave the campaign.

“I’m 67,” Mr. Davis said. “I’m not the same person I was two years ago. I’m confident in him, but — and there is that but — he should think about the country and the world. I think another Democrat could come in and beat Trump.”

In Nebraska, Mo Neal, 73, who runs a social media page for Lancaster County Democrats, said that Mr. Biden seemed “gentlemanly and sedate” and that his demeanor compared favorably with Mr. Trump’s angry hectoring speeches.

“I’m solidly behind Biden,” she said. “Even now.”

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Articles: 2027

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