Joe Biden faces voter backlash over Israel policy

By John Mercury February 29, 2024

Michigan reveals concerns for Biden and Trump

A hundred thousand people chose to go out on a cold Michigan night to vote for nobody.

That should cause some anxiety in the White House. Here’s why.

The Michigan primary is the latest in the series of state contests to choose the presidential candidates.

The headline was not surprising given the trajectory so far.

Joe Biden comfortably won the Democratic Party primary with about 81% of the vote.

Donald Trump was the far-away victor in the Republican race with about 68% of the votes compared to Nikki Haley’s 26.5%.

But look beyond that headline and there is some revealing stuff which should worry both sides.

First, Biden and that number of 100,000. That’s the number of people who turned out to tick “uncommitted” on their ballot rather than voting for Biden.

That is the consequence of a protest campaign against the war in Gaza which has taken shape over the past few weeks across Michigan.

America’s largest Arab and Muslim populations are in Michigan.

Biden’s unequivocal support for Israel in Gaza has riled communities across the state, as has the number of civilian deaths.

Biden still won with 81% of the vote, yes. But if this protest vote translates in the general election and 100,000 people refuse to vote for Biden then, in this swing state, it could cost him the White House.

In 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan by just 10,000. That’s why this could really matter.

I have spoken to life-long Democrats with family ties to the Middle East who say they could now never vote for Biden.

Some have pointed out that in 2008 the Michigan uncommitted vote was much higher. That was different, though.

The uncommitted voted that time for Barak Obama and John Edwards, who had decided not to contest the state. Their supporters chose uncommitted to support them.

This time it’s all about one issue – Gaza.

What about Trump? Well, here too, alarm bells for his campaign.

A total of 30% of Republican voters chose not Trump, but his opponent Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis, who’s already dropped out.

So a significant portion of Republicans are firmly opposed to Trump or, at the very least, not fans of his.

Remember, in this swing state Trump won by just 10,000 votes in 2016 and then lost to Biden by 150,000 in 2020.

As always, Michigan will be a nail-biting state to watch closely. It should already be causing unease for both sides.

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