What’s next for Biden after Michigan? ‘Uncommitted’ vote questions campaign

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When President Joe Biden was on his approach to winning the Democratic primary in Michigan, he encountered opposition from Arab Americans, progressives, and young people. This opposition is causing his campaign to face questions as it prepares for Super Tuesday and beyond.

Despite the fact that Biden handily won the primary election on Tuesday, as was anticipated, he was given a sobering warning by voters who submitted “uncommitted” ballots in order to protest his support for Israel in its dispute with Gaza. Following the counting of more than 98% of the ballots, there were more than 100,000 “uncommitted” votes cast, which is far higher than the objective of 10,000 votes that was established by the leaders behind the movement. The total number of votes cast is greater than thirteen percent.

“Count Michigan uncommitted for funding of war and genocide in Gaza,” said Layla Elabed, campaign manager for “Listen to Michigan,” which organized the uncommitted drive and is asking for Biden to call for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East. “Listen to Michigan” represents the organization that is organizing the uncommitted effort.
According to Elabed, a significant number of individuals who selected “uncommitted” voted for Biden in 2020 but are reconsidering their support for his re-election due to the conflict in Gaza. “We cannot afford to pay the bill for disregarding Palestinian lives should it come due in November,” she stated, despite the fact that they do not want another president under Donald Trump.

A loud message was delivered to Vice President Joe Biden by the “uncommitted” vote in Michigan, according to the progressive organization Our Revolution. The message was as follows: “Change course now on Gaza or risk alienating key voter blocs needed to defeat Trump in November.”
“In order for Democrats to defeat Donald Trump in November, Biden must realign with his voter base and listen to the diverse, progressive voices urging him to change course in Gaza,” said Joseph Geevarghese, the executive director of the organization. “This is necessary in order for Democrats to win the election!” “And until he does, we will continue to show up, speak out, and activate the eight million grassroots members of Our Revolution across the country to use their ballot to demand change,” the statement read.

In a swing state that has the potential to play a decisive role in the election in November, the significant number of “uncommitted” ballots in Michigan demonstrates the vulnerability of Vice President Joe Biden. Only 154,000 votes separated Biden from Trump in the election of 2020.

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On Tuesday, the number of votes cast for “uncommitted” candidates was significantly higher than the 10,704 votes that Trump received in order to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the general election in 2016. Additionally, the number of votes cast for “uncommitted” candidates in the 2012 Michigan primary was approximately 20,833, which is almost 11% of the total.
“It is clear that Biden has a problem with his base in Michigan,” said William Galston, chairman of the governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a think tank located in Washington. “This is something that veteran Democrats from Michigan have been telling the White House for weeks.”

Michigan's 100,000 'uncommitted' votes challenge Biden's Israel stance |  Reuters

It is difficult to determine how much of the “uncommitted” vote was a protest against Biden’s support of Israel and how much of it was a reflection of other issues, such as Biden’s age, according to Galston. This is because exit polls are not available.
In spite of this, he stated that “these results will increase pressure on the White House to obtain at least a temporary cease-fire as soon as possible.”

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Biden delivered a statement late on Tuesday night that did not mention the “uncommitted” vote. Instead, the message focused on the successes of his administration and emphasized the possibility of a rematch with Trump, whom Biden stated threatens “to drag us even further into the past as he pursues revenge and retribution.”

It is going to take all of us pulling together in order to win this battle for our freedoms, for working families, and for democracy, as Vice President Joe Biden has stated. “I have no doubt that we will.”

According to Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, Vice President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude to the people of Michigan for making their opinions heard on Wednesday. “He understands how painful this moment is to many people,” according to her. “He gets that, which is why he has had conversations with the Arab and Muslim community and listened directly to them and heard their concerns. … We’re going to continue to do that.”
A large showing of “uncommitted” voters was something that the Biden campaign had expected, and they had been striving to mitigate the harm this would cause. A series of meetings with Arab Americans were scheduled to take place in Dearborn, Michigan, two weeks ago, and Vice President Biden sent his senior advisers there. In comparison to other cities in the country, Dearborn has the largest percentage of Arab Americans.

The Biden aides apologized in private at those talks for the manner in which the administration has managed the war in Gaza and for the manner in which it has spoken publicly about Palestinians during the fight with Israel, which has resulted in serious casualties.

By describing Israel’s response as “over the top” and expressing his optimism that a cease-fire may be reached by the conclusion of this weekend, Vice President Biden has likewise changed his tone when discussing the war to reflect his new perspective.

However, on Tuesday, the majority of voters in Dearborn chose “uncommitted” over Biden as their preferred option. According to the results that were released on the website of the city clerk, the “uncommitted” vote was 56%, while Biden had gotten 40% of the vote. This information was generated after 47 of the city’s 48 precincts reported their results. In the month of November 2020, Biden won Dearborn.
retaining the amount of “uncommitted” voters in Michigan, it is clear that Biden is having trouble retaining his base of support as we move closer to the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses that will take place the following week. Voters in sixteen states will be holding elections on that day.

'Uncommitted' wins 2 Democratic delegates in Michigan, a victory for  Biden's anti-war opponents

It is possible that the strong showing of “uncommitted” in Michigan may encourage similar efforts to be run in other states. “Abandon Biden” is the name of a national movement that is now active in Michigan as well as in a number of other states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Florida.
Efforts identical to these are currently being made with more major constituencies for Biden. In addition, voters are being encouraged to select “uncommitted” at the polls by a campaign that is being led by activists of Armenian American descent. It is the intention of this campaign to convey the word that the administration need to cease providing Azerbaijan with military assistance.

Azerbaijan has been embroiled in a dispute with Armenians who reside in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is a mountainous region that is predominantly Armenian and is located within the borders of Azerbaijan. This conflict has lasted for decades. Tens of thousands of troops have been killed, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes, and acute food shortages have plagued the region as a result of Azerbaijan’s decision to block the road that connects the region with Armenia.
Many Armenian Americans have been upset by Vice President Biden’s decision to waive a portion of a federal statute that prohibits the provision of foreign aid to Azerbaijan. Biden has made human rights a central focus of his presidency. Those who advocate for him should demand that the blockade be lifted immediately and that sanctions be imposed on Azerbaijan in order to exert pressure on the country.

Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, expressed his sentiments by saying, “We really feel like he broke faith with our community.” According to our point of view, there ought to be repercussions for any kind of misconduct.

In an effort to disseminate information regarding the “uncommitted” campaign, leaders of Armenian American communities have collaborated with philanthropic organizations, women’s organizations, and other organizations. There are around 13% of Armenians living in the state of Michigan, 7% in the state of Pennsylvania, and 6% in the state of Wisconsin. According to Hamparian, the fact that all three of these states are anticipated to be swing states in November means that Armenian Americans could gain more influence than they have in previous elections if they ally themselves with Arab Americans who are supporting the “uncommitted” campaign.

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“It’s not just the Arab American Muslim community,” remarked Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, despite the fact that a significant portion of the attention in the state of Michigan was directed toward Arab Americans.

During her interview on CNN, she stated that young people, women, and groups concerned about topics such as the environment and border security all want to have their voices heard.

“But we’ve got to turn out our vote,” Dingell said, referring to vice president Joe Biden’s obligation to meet with the community.

According to what she said, the candidate who wins the election in November will be the one who goes out and votes.

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