Biden, Trump win in Michigan, but 'uncommitted' claims 16% of Democratic vote in Gaza war protest

Biden's victory in Michigan - the state with the largest Arab and Muslim community in the US - was certain, but many voters went to the polls to embarrass the Democratic president by choosing the 'uncommitted' option to protest Biden's 'support for Israel's attack on Gaza'; Meanwhile, another easy victory for Trump over Haley

Tzippy Shmilovitz, New York |
The Democratic and Republican primaries in Michigan ended Tuesday night as expected, with easy victories for Joe Biden and Donald Trump; But they were not completely without drama.
On the Democratic side, the main question was what would be the percentage of voters in the state with the largest Arab and Muslim population in the U.S. who, instead of voting for the president, would choose the "uncommitted" option. Their choice to go to the polls and withhold support for the president is their way of protesting against the policies of the American president during the war in Gaza They sought to punish him for what they define as "the government's unqualified support for Israel's attack on Gaza."
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The Democratic primary race was called for Biden the moment the polls closed, with about 79% of the votes according to exit polls. With 50% of the ballots counted, however, 'uncommitted' had garnered some 13.4% of the vote, a percentage that matched expectations, but probably not enough to affect the president's campaign.
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ג'ו ביידן הצבעת מחאה ערבים מישיגן ארה"ב
ג'ו ביידן הצבעת מחאה ערבים מישיגן ארה"ב
Many Muslim primary voters in Michigan chose 'uncommitted' over President Joe Biden
(Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook, EPA/SHAWN THEW)
By comparison, in the 2012 primary, when the incumbent Democratic president was Barack Obama, 11% of Michigan Democrats voted "uncommitted." Most of the voters who refrained from voting for the sitting president on Tuesday came from Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit where over 50% of its residents are Muslim, and from the Ann Arbor area where the University of Michigan is located.
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ארה"ב פריימריז דמוקרטיים מישיגן מצביעים מחאה "לא מחויב" מחלקים עלונים עם קריאה להצביע כך
ארה"ב פריימריז דמוקרטיים מישיגן מצביעים מחאה "לא מחויב" מחלקים עלונים עם קריאה להצביע כך
The 'uncommitted' vote is a protest against Biden's policy on the war in Gaza
The Democratic primaries this time around are seen mainly as a contest for protocol's sake. No well-known candidate is running against Biden, as is customary when an incumbent president runs for another term, and he is expected to sail through without any problem to the general election in November. According to all indications, he will face former President Donald Trump in the general election, in a rematch of the battle for the presidency in 2020.
Still, the state of Michigan is of great importance. The candidate who carries it in November will win 15 electors, a large number that can decide the election. And since Michigan is a "swing state", one in which a close fight is expected. The candidates are already fighting in the state for every vote.
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ארה"ב פריימריז דמוקרטיים מישיגן מצביעים מחאה "לא מחויב" סעיד ואשתו עאישה שהצביעו כך
ארה"ב פריימריז דמוקרטיים מישיגן מצביעים מחאה "לא מחויב" סעיד ואשתו עאישה שהצביעו כך
These Muslim voters in the Democratic primary in Michigan chose 'uncommitted' over Biden
(Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)
In the 2020 election, Biden won in Michigan by a margin of less than 2.8%, and polls from recent months showed that he is now lagging behind Trump there. If the Arab and Muslim community turns their backs on him, his chances will be severely damaged.
On the Republican side, Trump led his only serious challenger, Nikki Haley by a margin of 65% to 31% when the polls closed, roughly in line with the polls, but the gap is expected to grow. The interesting statistic here, as in previous primaries, is that a significant percentage of Republicans voted for an alternative candidate to Trump.
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