President Joe Biden's recent debate performance has left many allies and supporters questioning his ability to maintain his candidacy and effectively challenge former President Donald Trump in the upcoming November election. According to a report from The New York Times, Biden, at 81, has privately acknowledged the possibility of having to withdraw from the race if he continues to perform poorly in future public appearances.

During the debate last week, Biden struggled to convey his message clearly, speaking in a raspy voice, frequently misspeaking, losing his train of thought, and failing to respond adequately to several of Trump’s attacks. This has raised significant concerns about his fitness for the presidential role among his supporters and within his own party.

"He knows if he has two more events like that, we're in a different place by the end of the weekend," an anonymous ally who spoke with Biden told The New York Times. A senior Biden adviser, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the President is "well aware of the political challenge he faces."

In response to the growing doubts, Biden is scheduled to participate in an interview with George Stephanopoulos and make campaign stops in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin later this week. These appearances are seen as crucial opportunities for Biden to reassure voters of his competence and readiness for a second term.

Despite the concerns, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre denied reports that Biden has considered stepping down. "That is absolutely false," she told reporters. Jean-Pierre also emphasized Vice President Kamala Harris’s significant role in the party, referring to her as "the future of the party."

Harris’s name has been prominently mentioned among potential replacements for Biden should he decide to withdraw from the race. A Biden campaign official, speaking to TMZ, suggested that Harris could seamlessly take over the campaign, utilizing the funds already raised. Harris is viewed as a strong contender due to her high profile and previous campaign experience.

Calls for Biden to step aside have grown louder among some Democratic leaders and donors. Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas, in a statement obtained by CNN, urged Biden to make a difficult but necessary decision. "I represent the heart of a congressional district once represented by Lyndon Johnson. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same," Doggett said.

Reed Hastings, a prominent Democratic donor and co-founder of Netflix, echoed these sentiments in an email to The New York Times. "Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous," Hastings wrote. Hastings was a significant donor to Biden's 2020 campaign, contributing up to $1.5 million.

The Biden administration faces a critical moment, with the President’s ability to convince the electorate of his viability and vigor hanging in the balance. The upcoming public appearances and campaign activities will be closely scrutinized for any signs of improvement or further decline in Biden’s performance.

The political landscape remains tense as Democrats weigh their options and consider the implications of potentially nominating a new candidate. While Vice President Harris stands out as a leading alternative, other Democratic figures are also being considered. The next few weeks will be pivotal in determining the direction of the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party's strategy heading into the 2024 election.