On Thursday night, June 27, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump engaged in a televised debate watched by millions of people worldwide and, when the November 2024 election is over and done with, it may very well be pointed to as the thing that cost Trump the 2024 election.

The debate – the earliest ever in the US presidential election cycle – was asked for by Biden and agreed to by Trump; and, given the way the debate turned out, accepting the challenge may quite possibly be seen later as the worst decision Trump and his election team made in the 2024 election cycle.

Going into the night, Trump had a very slight lead in most polls; however, given the margin of error of polls and the obvious deficiencies of modern political polling, it was fair to say that, heading into the June 27 debate, the race was “neck and neck” and it was anyone’s to win.

Now, after the debate, Trump’s chances of winning the presidency look much, much worse.

On the stage, it was clear to everyone watching, literally from the first few seconds after Biden opened his mouth, that it was going to be a very, very rough night for Biden, and, on the other hand, a toned-down Trump sounded more energetic and confident as well as more reasonable than usual.

If the debate had been close and Trump had merely “won,” that would have been the best-case scenario for the former president.

 However, Biden’s performance was so catastrophic that, the second the debate was over, Biden’s major supporters, like many of the commentators on CNN, were immediately engaged in a discussion that Biden cannot possibly win and therefore cannot possibly be the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States.

The utterly dismal performance of Biden Thursday night was so undeniably disastrous that even many of the biggest Biden supporters immediately stated openly that the Democrats must start seeking another nominee.

Biden’s performance was so bad, in fact, that, now, the Democrats are almost certainly going to run a new candidate, and it’s no secret that – ever since this supposedly inevitable rematch between Trump and Biden began – this was a battle between two extremely unpopular candidates.

In the 2024 race, if either party had run their best and most universally appealing candidate, polls suggest that that candidate would have slid into the White House with total ease. It wouldn’t have even been close.

After Biden gave his State of the Union Address earlier this year, his performance quelled some of the fears among Democrats that Biden’s age and acuity would prevent him from being a viable candidate for a job that lasts another four and a half years.

Biden’s debate performance Thursday night swept every ounce of that confidence out of the Democratic Party.

So, now the Democratic Party is in a panic and is looking for a new candidate and, after Thursday night, that is a very, very real possibility indeed – even though it was an almost unthinkable option as late as 8:59 p.m. on Thursday.

The Democratic candidate who took part in the presidential debate Thursday night would almost certainly lose to Trump; however, now there’s a chance the tables might turn quickly if Democrats offer up another option.  (Hint: It will not be Kamala Harris.)

Which is why, Thursday night, Trump may well have won the debate battle by a mile, but lost the war in a big way.