Polls, Democrats, and progressive organizations alike all warn that President Joe Biden isn’t just losing the support of Arab Americans, but overall support due to his administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Last week, Michigan Democrats warned that Biden’s stance on the conflict could cost him the support from the Arab American community, and possibly lose a key swing state in the 2024 election. The Arab American Institute commissioned a nationwide poll of Arab American voters which found that their support for Biden has plummeted 42 percent since 2020 from 59 percent to 17 percent.
The poll also found that Biden’s approval rating dropped from 74 percent in 2020 to 29 percent in 2023, which reflect trends of the American public as a whole.
According to the institute, Arab Americans account for hundreds of thousands of voters in swing states which the 2024 election will likely be contingent on, including Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The institute also emphasized that for the first time in its 26 years of polling Arab American voters, a majority did not prefer the Democratic Party. The poll found that 32 percent of Arab Americans identified as Republicans and only 23 percent identified as Democrats. Independents are also seeing a steady growth and overtook Democrats for the first time in October 2023.
However, Arab American voters are not the only demographic that Biden is struggling with. Leaders of progressive groups focused on mobilizing young voters are also warning Biden that his handling of the war in Gaza could lower the turnout in a demographic that’s already notoriously difficult to get out on Election Day.
Calls for ceasefire explode globally
In a letter addressed to Biden, several youth organizations issued a stark warning that his administration’s stance is risking millions of young voters not voting or voting third party on election day.
Signers of the letter include heads of groups like March for Our Lives, the student-led gun violence prevention group; United We Dream, which describes itself as the largest immigrant youth-led network in the U.S.; Gen Z for a Change, which was started by online influencers as a TikTok campaign for Biden; and the Sunrise Movement, the activist youth climate organization.
“We mobilized the record youth turnout in 2020 that pushed your ticket over the finish line …We have been preparing to mobilize the youth vote again as you face your re-election. We are experts in youth voting behavior who have worked tirelessly across the years to generate Generation Z and Millennial enthusiasm for civic action under a variety of circumstances,” the letter, first shared with NBC, stated.
“There is no way for a Democratic presidential nominee to win without significant youth voter enthusiasm and mobilization. Young people are a cornerstone of a winning Democratic coalition, and the vast majority of young people in this country are rightfully horrified by the atrocities committed with our tax dollars, with your support, and our nation’s military backing.”
Over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's retaliation against Hamas so far, over 4,000 of whom were children. An additional 3,000 of the total were women and the elderly. According to a recent poll from Data for Progress, 66 percent of Americans support a ceasefire across party lines in order to prevent civilian deaths in Gaza. Despite this, the White House has not yet used the term, instead calling for "humanitarian pauses."
The groups are urging Biden to explicitly call a ceasefire, and said that not doing so will be a moral and political disaster.
“We did not spend hours upon hours knocking doors and making calls to turn out the vote so that you could support indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and violations of international law,” the letter continued. “Your legacy hangs in the balance.”Despite Biden's dip in popularity, voters overwhelmingly backed local and state Democrats in the 2023 elections.
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