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'Uncommitted' Vote In Michigan Is Serious Warning To Biden

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President Biden comfortably won the Michigan Democratic party presidential primary yesterday but a campaign, led by progressive Democrats, to vote ‘uncommitted’ in protest of the administration’s support for Israel outperformed expectations and picked up 13.3% of the vote.

  • The result may not represent an overwhelming repudiation of Biden’s leadership, and 'uncommitted' votes in uncontested primaries are not uncommon, but it exposes vulnerabilities in the progressive alliance which delivered him the White House in 2020. If Biden is to win again in November, he will need to repair his relationship with younger voters, college educated voter, and those more likely to consider Israel’s response in Gaza heavy-handed.
  • Nate Cohn at the New York Times writes: "Having three in four Democratic primary voters in Arab American communities [vote uncommitted] is an eye-popping figure. It goes well beyond the norm, and it’s a powerful indication that the war in Gaza poses serious political risks to President Biden."
  • Cohn notes that, although foreign policy is widely believed to be a secondary concern for voters in general elections, there are numerous instances of foreign policy impacting major election results: "The relatively recent history of Arab American and Muslim voters being more favorable toward Republican candidates makes it even easier to envision a shift back to Republicans today. This isn’t a liberal voting group."
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President Biden comfortably won the Michigan Democratic party presidential primary yesterday but a campaign, led by progressive Democrats, to vote ‘uncommitted’ in protest of the administration’s support for Israel outperformed expectations and picked up 13.3% of the vote.

  • The result may not represent an overwhelming repudiation of Biden’s leadership, and 'uncommitted' votes in uncontested primaries are not uncommon, but it exposes vulnerabilities in the progressive alliance which delivered him the White House in 2020. If Biden is to win again in November, he will need to repair his relationship with younger voters, college educated voter, and those more likely to consider Israel’s response in Gaza heavy-handed.
  • Nate Cohn at the New York Times writes: "Having three in four Democratic primary voters in Arab American communities [vote uncommitted] is an eye-popping figure. It goes well beyond the norm, and it’s a powerful indication that the war in Gaza poses serious political risks to President Biden."
  • Cohn notes that, although foreign policy is widely believed to be a secondary concern for voters in general elections, there are numerous instances of foreign policy impacting major election results: "The relatively recent history of Arab American and Muslim voters being more favorable toward Republican candidates makes it even easier to envision a shift back to Republicans today. This isn’t a liberal voting group."