Tech billionaire Mark Pincus joins donor push to force out Biden

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The tech billionaire Mark Pincus has joined a growing chorus of Democratic donors pushing Joe Biden to exit the White House race, as the president loses the support of big backers he was counting on to fund his re-election bid.

Pincus, founder of the video games company Zynga, said the party needed to hold a contest to replace Biden with a younger candidate that could revive Democrats’ chances of defeating Donald Trump in November.

“I don’t see how President Biden will ever get around this age competency issue at this point,” Pincus told the Financial Times. “I think the best chance for the Democratic party will be an open convention where someone else can step in.”

A competition to let party members pick a new candidate would “actually bring new energy to this race”, he said.

The party had “plenty of strong players” who could replace Biden, Pincus said, including Democratic governors such as Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California.

The tech billionaire’s comments come a day after former Democratic House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and actor George Clooney, a leading Democratic supporter in Hollywood, signalled that Biden was losing support among some of the party’s most influential members.

Several Democratic members of Congress also called on Biden to drop out of the race on Wednesday, while other donors told the FT that Democrats’ campaign funding was “drying up” amid the turmoil over the president’s future.

Pincus’s intervention comes just hours before Biden is scheduled to face the world’s media at a Nato press conference on Thursday — one of the first big unscripted events since his disastrous debate against Trump two weeks ago.

Pincus visited the White House in December and later gave the maximum amount of $929,600 to the Biden Victory Fund and more than $165,00 to the Democratic National Committee.

Despite Biden’s commitment to stay in the race, lawmakers and donors are increasingly worried by polling suggesting that Trump is the favourite to win the White House after the first debate.

George Krupp, a Boston real estate investor and major Democratic donor who hosted a fundraiser for Biden in May, also added his name to the list of backers now urging the president to quit. Biden was a “very good person but at this stage, he should not run”, he told the FT.

“The polls don’t look good, especially battleground states,” said Krupp. “The age issue will haunt him for the rest of the election cycle.”

Krupp said “big money” would remain “on the sidelines” for Biden and flow instead to the party’s House and Senate candidates.

Biden told donors earlier this week that he would remain in the race. “I’m in it to the end, and I’m going to beat Trump,” he said.

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