Will the Democratic Rebellion Against Biden Over Gaza Manifest at the Polls in Michigan?

Will enough people vote against Biden to demonstrate that discontent over Gaza among key Democratic constituencies threatens his reelection?


Progressive anti-Israel activists are encouraging Michiganders to vote against President Joe Biden in Tuesday’s Democratic primary over his support for Israel. Will enough people vote against Biden to demonstrate that discontent over Gaza among key Democratic constituencies threatens his reelection?

  • President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are heading into Tuesday’s primary as the clear frontrunners for their respective nominations. 
  • Trump’s main challenger, ex-UN Amb. Nikki Haley, has demonstrated that she commands the votes of a sizable plurality of anti-Trump Republicans – around 40% of the primary electorate – but in the primaries so far there have been few signs of Democratic discontent with Biden.
  • That may change on Tuesday. A coalition of Arab American, left-wing, and anti-Israel activists have spent weeks encouraging voters to select “uncommitted” or write-in “Free Palestine” to protest Biden’s support for Israel in the war against Hamas.
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib, an outspoken member of the “Squad,” is the most prominent politician backing the rebellion against Biden. Tlaib has thrown her support behind two grassroots groups – Abandon Biden and Listen to Michigan – that have led the anti-Biden charge.
  • The anti-Israel activists are aiming for 10,000 voters to choose “uncommitted,” a symbolic reference to the margin that cost Hillary Clinton victory in the state in 2016. 
  • Michigan is home to more than 300,000 Muslim and Arab American voters. Biden won the state by around 155,000 votes in 2020.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times’ flagship podcast “The Daily” interviewed the left-wing anti-Israel activists in Michigan who have been phone-banking for weeks to recruit voters to protest Biden’s support for Israel by voting against him in the Democratic primary.
  • MSNBC interviewed Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, about the Michigan primary contests. Whitmer predicted there would be a “sizable” number of voters who choose “uncommitted” to protest Biden’s support for Israel, and expects the number to exceed 10,000 votes.
  • CNN reported the rebellion against Biden over Gaza is being led by Layla Elabed, Rashida Tlaib’s sister. “The Listen to Michigan campaign was launched less than three weeks ago by Elabed and other Arab American activists in the Wolverine State,” CNN contextualized. Despite urging voters to vote against Biden, the organizers claim, “This is not an anti-Biden campaign. It’s a humanitarian vote.”


  • “I’m doing what I think is right,” Haley told the Wall Street Journal when asked why she is continuing her quixotic presidential campaign. “I’m doing what I believe 70% of Americans want me to do,” she added, referring to polling that shows most Americans want a different option than a Trump-Biden rematch. “You have to see the writing on the wall, you have to see the hole in the ship,” Haley added, referring to the unbroken string of electoral losses – 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022 – that the GOP has earned under Trump’s leadership of the party. “And if you don’t see the hole in the ship, we’re all going to go down.”
  • The New York Post covered a new poll of Michigan voters conducted just before the primary. In the new Emerson College Polling / The Hill survey, Trump leads Biden by a 46% to 44% margin, with Trump leading with independent voters by 6 points. The race remains within the margin of error if third-party candidates are included, with Trump leading Biden 42% to 39% with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pulling 6% of the vote.
  • “Michigan’s Democrat-controlled legislature set the state’s primary date earlier than usual this year to comply with the wishes of the Democratic National Committee. But shifting the date for the Democrats pushed the Republicans out of compliance with the Republican National Committee (RNC),” Fox News observed. “To avoid a penalty from the RNC, Michigan Republicans came up with a split-primary system, with voters casting ballots on Tuesday and on March 2. On Saturday, the Michigan GOP will hold a party-run convention in Detroit. The winner of that contest could receive up to 39 delegates, although they will be distributed by district. There are 13 total districts and three delegates per district.”


Return to Freespoke Freespoke.com

© Dominic Moore, 2023