NBC News also reported on Wednesday, July 11, that three campaign insiders believe Biden has zero shot of winning reelection in November

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Vice President Kamala Harris waves after disembarking Air Force 2 on April 18, 2022

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Vice President Kamala Harris waves after disembarking Air Force 2 on April 18, 2022

While President Joe Biden continues expressing his commitment to rematching Donald Trump in November, campaign insiders have been leaking information that says the opposite.

On Thursday, July 11, multiple outlets reported that behind the scenes, the Biden-Harris campaign is bracing for a potential switch-up on the Democratic ticket. If he were to step back, the easiest replacement would be Vice President Kamala Harris, who is already central to the campaign’s strategy and has the benefit of incumbency.

In one article by The New York Times, three unnamed sources shared that the Biden campaign’s analytics team has spent the week quietly conducting a survey to test Harris’ strength in a general election face-off with Trump.

Related: Kamala Harris Would Outperform Joe Biden in 2024 Matchup Against Donald Trump: New Poll

The Times added that some of the president’s top aides are doubtful that Harris could outperform Biden and remain wary of trusting hypothetical polling.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates refutes the New York Times‘ report about a secret survey, telling PEOPLE, “Unequivocally, this is not true. President Biden’s team is strongly behind him.”

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk toward the Oval Office after an event in the White House Rose GardenAP Photo/Carolyn Kaster President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk toward the Oval Office after an event in the White House Rose Garden

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk toward the Oval Office after an event in the White House Rose Garden

Just before the Times reported on an alleged general election survey, NBC News cited three campaign insiders who said that several people working to reelect him now view his chances of winning as zero amid the post-debate fallout.

“He needs to drop out,” one Biden campaign official told NBC. “He will never recover from this.”

“No one involved in the effort thinks he has a path,” a second source told the outlet.

Related: George Clooney Urges His Friend Joe Biden to ‘Save Democracy’ by Exiting 2024 Race: ‘One Battle He Cannot Win’

<p>Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the rough first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle<p>Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the rough first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty

Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the rough first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle

In the two weeks since the first 2024 presidential debate — during which a feeble Biden struggled to debunk Trump’s lies in live time or defend his platform — a number of wealthy donors have cut off funding from his campaign with the ultimatum that he needs to be replaced before they resume donations.

A slow trickle of Democratic lawmakers have also called for him to step aside, and several more have expressed doubts about his electability after the nation saw the 81-year-old in a weak position on live television.

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The New York Times reported in a separate article on Thursday afternoon that a small group of advisers across the Biden administration and campaign have been discussing ways that they can convince him to step aside.

According to three of the Times‘ sources who were briefed on the issue, skeptical Biden staffers believe that their currently confident boss will need to be convinced of three things before he considers abandoning his reelection bid: that he will lose to Trump, that a different Democrat can beat Trump, and that the Democratic Party could find a way to stay unified in the event of his withdrawal.

One of the sources told the newspaper that they don’t believe the president has been made aware of that group’s discussions.

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