In a 10-minute TV appearance on “Morning Joe” at 7:40 a.m., Pelosi — who has a decades-long relationship with the president and still commands the deep respect of her colleagues — left her mark on the biggest political crisis facing the Democratic Party in years.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short,” the California Democrat said. “He is beloved, he is respected, and people want him to make that decision.”

In those few sentences on a program Biden is known to watch, Pelosi didn’t directly call for Biden to step aside. But she did significantly reframe a delicate but urgent conversation taking place among Capitol Hill lawmakers, Democratic donors, party strategists and voters after Biden’s faltering debate performance two weeks ago raised questions about whether he can beat Donald Trump and serve another term as president.

Lastly, it's important to realize that as a man who works for Nate Silver reported today in a message to subscribers of Silver (I'm one), the electoral college bias toward Republicans, including the conservative leaning of most swing states, means that Biden has to make up 5 points in the national polling average to have a decent chance of winning the presidential election. 

After last month’s debate, Donald Trump leads by about 3 points in our national polling average. But even now, the natural variation in polls means that we’re going to get individual polls that show a tied or even Biden +1 national race — just as we get others that show Trump ahead by 6 or 7. It’s obviously wrong to cherry-pick these polls to claim the race is tied. But things wouldn’t look great for Biden even if he and Trump were tied in the polling average. Why? Trump still has an edge in the Electoral College.

...Here’s a chart showing each candidate’s chance of winning the election at different popular vote margins. Biden becomes favored to win the election when the popular vote margin is between D +2 and D +3. But even in this scenario, Trump has an almost 1 in 3 chance of winning, like he won against Clinton in 2016 with a margin in this range. If Biden wins the popular vote by less than 2 points, he has less than a 50/50 chance of winning the election and is usually the clear underdog. Even if Biden wins the popular vote by between 1 and 2 points, for instance, he only has a 38 percent chance of winning a majority of electoral votes.