12:30 Report — Tides begin to turn on Biden post-debate

A chronicle of Donald Trump's Crimes or Allegations

12:30 Report — Tides begin to turn on Biden post-debate


12:30 REPORT

It’s Wednesday. Happy Fourth of July eve! Where are you watching fireworks tomorrow night? Here’s what’s happening today:

President Biden gets more bad news as his campaign looks to reassure nervous Democrats after the debate debacle last week.
Later today: Biden will meet with Democratic governors amid the debate fallout.Mississippi’s congressional delegation is getting into the Independence Day spirit with a reading of the Declaration of Independence.


I’m Mychael Schnell, filling in for Cate, with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send tips, commentary, feedback and cookie recipes to mschnell@thehill.com. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.  


PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill’s 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow for the Fourth of July holiday. 🎆 Enjoy the fireworks, barbeques and ice cream!

👀 The Campaign Trail

Tides begin to turn on Biden post-debate:

Six days after a lackluster debate between the presumptive party nominees, the effects of Biden’s shaky performance are starting to settle in.


The Biden campaign woke up this morning to a pair of concerning forecasts, involving the battleground states, setting the stage for more talk about whether the incumbent should remain at the top of the ticket.


Alarm bell #1: Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the nonpartisan elections handicapper at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, announced that it is moving Michigan — a crucial swing state — from “leans Democratic” to “toss-up” and shifting Minnesota from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic” in its Electoral College ratings, dealing another blow to the Biden campaign.


Both midwestern states are key to the Democratic coalition:

Michigan (15 electoral votes) has gone blue in every presidential election since 1992 except in 2016, when former President Trump won.

Minnesota (10 electoral votes) has broken for Democrats in every presidential election since 1976.

“In agreeing to the earliest-ever general election presidential debate, President Joe Biden sought to change the focus of this election from a referendum on himself to a choice between him and a flawed rival, former President Donald Trump. Needless to say, not only did Biden fail in this objective, but he exacerbated perhaps his biggest weakness — a widely-held belief that he is simply too old and diminished to lead the nation for another four years,” writes Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball.


TBT to last week when Politico’s Jonathan Martin reported that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) — who is being floated as a Biden replacement — told Biden that the Wolverine State was no longer winnable for the incumbent after the debate. Whitmer dismissed that report.


More from Sabato’s Crystal Ball here.


Alarm bell #2: A new post-debate CBS News/YouGov poll is out today that shows Trump gaining steam on Biden nationally and in key battleground stages.


Note: the poll’s margin of error for registered voters is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points


NATIONALLY: Trump is leading Biden 50 percent to 48 percent among likely voters. When third party-candidates — such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Jill Stein — are thrown in the mix, the former president leads the incumbent 44 percent to 40 percent among likely voters.


BATTLEGROUND STATES: Trump is leading Biden 51 percent to 48 percent among likely voters in seven battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s a turnaround from last month, when the president led Trump 50 percent to 49 percent among likely voters


Dive in deeper with CBS News’s breakdown and the crosstabs


And then…: Shortly before publication, The New York Times’s Katie Rogers published a report that said Biden “told a key ally that he knows he may not be able to salvage his candidacy if he cannot convince the public in the coming days that he is up for the job after a disastrous debate performance last week.”


“He knows if he has two more events like that, we’re in a different place” by the end of the weekend, the ally told The Times, referring to Biden’s performance in the debate. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates called the report “absolutely false” in a post on social media platform X.


Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas) became the first sitting Democratic lawmaker to call on Biden to step aside Tuesday.


Moderate Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.) said they think Trump will win in November.


Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it is “legitimate” to ask both candidates “is this an episode or is this a condition.” Later in the day, however, her spokesperson Ian Krager said, “Speaker Pelosi has full confidence in President Biden and looks forward to attending his inauguration on January 20, 2025.”


Yours truly outlined the cracks that are beginning to emerge in Biden’s backing within the Democratic Party. Read it here.


The White House, Biden’s campaign and his top surrogates have argued since the debate that the president is able to serve another four years in office.


“He knows how to do the job and he knows how to do the job, not because he says it, because his record proves it. Because for three and a half years, almost four years, the president’s record has been unprecedented, delivering for the American people,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters yesterday.


BIDEN IS ALSO DEFENDING HIMSELF: “I wasn’t very smart. I decided to travel around the world a couple of times … shortly before the debate,” the president said Tuesday while talking to donors at a fundraiser in Virginia. “I didn’t listen to my staff … and then I almost fell asleep on stage.”


The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Jared Gans explore how Biden’s potential replacements are navigating the tricky post-debate terrain. More here.


Some Democrats, meanwhile, are now expressing anger at how the Biden campaign has been trying to play clean-up after the debate.


“I really do criticize the campaign for a dismissive attitude towards people who are raising questions for discussion. That’s just facing the reality that we’re in,” Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) told Semafor.


More on that dynamic from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, here.


🤝 At the White House

Biden to welcome Democratic governors:

Biden is set to meet with Democratic governors later Wednesday, as part of the campaign’s effort to calm nerves following the president’s poor debate performance.


The deets: The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room. Some governors are flying to D.C. for the huddle, while others will join virtually.


Attendees, per CNN: California’s Gavin Newsom, Illinois’s JB Pritzker, Minnesota’s Tim Walz, New York’s Kathy Hochul, New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro, Maryland’s Wes Moore, Massachusetts’ Maura Healey, Rhode Island’s Daniel McKee, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, North Carolina’s Roy Cooper.


👀Some of those governors — Newsom, Pritzker, Shapiro — have been floated as potential replacement candidates if Biden steps down.


The backstory: CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Tuesday that a group of Democratic governors held a call where they discussed their concerns with Biden’s debate performance and sought a meeting with the president. The discussion was organized by Walz, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association, according to The Hill’s Julia Manchester.

🏛️ Supreme Court

High Court ruled on Trump’s immunity. What comes next?:

The Supreme Court’s monumental ruling Monday that provided Trump with some presidential immunity is raising questions about how far presidential powers reach now.


The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch explored the new depths of presidential power, writing that the bench’s decision “raises questions over what future lawless conduct or abuse of power might be beyond the reach of prosecutors or the courts, including dire hypotheticals over whether Trump could order the assassination of his political opponents.”


Read her piece, titled: “Bribes, assassination and pardons: Immunity ruling leaves questions on unchecked presidential power.”

📰 In Other News

Congress gets into Fourth of July spirit:

Mississippi’s Congressional delegation kicked off the Fourth of July holiday with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Watch here.


The nearly-four-minute video features appearances from Mississippi Sens. Roger Wicker (R) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), along with Reps. Bennie Thompson (D), Trent Kelly (R), Michael Guest (R) and Mike Ezell (R).

🐝 Internet Buzz

🦪 Celebrate: Today is National Fried Clam Day! NewEngland.com has you covered with the best spot in every New England state to get your fix of the crispy dish.


🎹 The Piano Man is BACK 24/7!  The Billy Joel Channel is back on SiriusXM for July, letting “Piano Man” fans (✋) listen to his music, commentary and fascinating Q&A sessions all month long!


🎆 “Back with a bang”: A little more than 30 hours until Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks light up the New York City sky! The show will air on NBC and Peacock.

📆 On The Agenda

The House and Senate are on recess. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington. (all times Eastern)

12:15 p.m.: Biden and Harris had lunch together.

1:30 p.m.: White House holds press briefing. 💻 Livestream

4:45 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks at a Medal of Honor Ceremony. 💻 Livestream

6:30 p.m.: Biden meets with Democratic Governors.

👋 And Finally…

Because you made it this far, meet Ruby, a dog that likes to offer her friends a reassuring pet at day care. 🐶

Stay Engaged

 A friend forward this to you? Subscribe here.


View past issues of 12:30 Report here and check out other newsletters from The Hill here. See you next time!