- President Joe Biden may lose key swing states in 2024 amid opposition from voters over his response to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
- Biden has opposed calls for a ceasefire between the parties, which has elicited opposition from left-wing groups and Democratic elected officials, leading to a loss of support in polls.
- “In the worst-case scenario, the hostages are not released, and the conflict lingers up to the election. This will make Biden’s shoring up the base even harder,” said Bruce Cain, a professor at Stanford University, to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
President Joe Biden could lose key swing states in the 2024 presidential election amid discontent by left-wing voters of his administration’s response to Israel’s conflict with Hamas, according to polling data and experts.
Under Biden’s leadership, the United States has declined to support a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas following the latter’s terrorist attacks on the former on Oct. 7, even as the idea has become a rallying cry for left-wing, pro-Palestine and Muslim-American groups in the domestic United States at multiple protests and demonstrations. The vow by some groups to withhold their votes for Biden in the 2024 election means that he could lose those states to former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, whom he beat in those states by extremely narrow margins during the 2020 election. (RELATED: ‘Genocide Joe’: Tens Of Thousands Descend On DC To Protest Against Israel Blocks Away From White House)
“No ceasefire, no votes. No ceasefire, no votes. No ceasefire, no votes,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands of pro-Gaza protesters in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, during the Free Palestine National March on Washington, after being encouraged to do so by a speaker on stage. “No votes in Michigan. No votes in Arizona. No votes in Georgia. No votes in Nevada. No votes in Wisconsin. No votes in Pennsylvania. No votes in Ohio. No votes for you anywhere if you do not call for a ceasefire now,” the speaker said, to thunderous applause, as observed by the DCNF.
Israel and Hamas have negotiated a limited ceasefire to secure the return of approximately 200 hostages, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has said that the war will “not stop” after a deal is reached, according to comments at a press conference on Tuesday. Nearly 1,200 civilians were killed by Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7, according to The Times of Israel, with atrocities such as rape, beheading, infanticide, mass shootings and summary executions, among others, being perpetrated.
Biden’s opposition to a ceasefire appears to have affected his standing in major opinion polls. One day after the protests in Washington, D.C., Siena College published a poll, commissioned by The New York Times, that showed Trump defeating Biden in five of six swing states, by margins between 4% and 10%, which are outside the poll’s margin of error, and represent sharp declines among young voters from previous iterations of the poll.
This was underscored in another poll, conducted by NBC News, which showed Biden losing to Trump for the first time in the poll’s history, with his support having declined 5 percentage points to 44% as compared to Trump’s steady 46%. A third poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, showed that support for Biden among Democratic voters of Arab and Muslim identity in Michigan declined to just 16% as of November, despite voters in Muslim-heavy precincts backing him by over 80% in 2020.
Muslims of Middle Eastern or North African descent comprise a significant 3% of Michigan’s population and are an absolute majority in certain cities, such as Dearborn and Hamtramck. For his opposition to a ceasefire, Biden has been personally targeted in the rhetoric of Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan’s 12th District, the sole Palestinian-American in Congress and the most high-profile pro-Gaza politician in the United States.
“Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people. The American people won’t forget. Biden, support a ceasefire now or don’t count on us in 2024,” narrated a video posted by Tlaib on Twitter, now known as X. “@POTUS, the majority of the American people are not with you on this one. #CeasefireNow,” she added, echoing a position supported by several other Democratic members of the Congress in both chambers.
Pro-Palestine activists rushed the gates of The White House, today, in a large protest against President Joe Biden and Israel’s response to Hamas. “He’s complicit in genocide,” one arrested protester told me. Follow my on the ground coverage for The @DailyCaller NF for more. pic.twitter.com/8FoWhqQvCr
— Arjun Singh (@arjunswritings) October 16, 2023
The cascading effect of dissent, or outright hostility, from Democratic politicians as well as opposition from Democratic-leaning voters significantly threatens Biden’s campaign, according to experts.
“[D]emobilization is the more likely outcome,” M.V. “Trey” Hood III, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia, told the DCNF. “[I]n a closely contested state any Democratic voters staying home would be detrimental to Biden’s chances of winning the state.”
Some experts believe that Biden’s campaign will have to expend more resources on turning out Democratic-leaning voters disgruntled by his opposition to a ceasefire, as opposed to focusing on independent voters needed to win a general election. “I do think that the Democrats are going to have to spend a lot of time and money mobilizing their base voters especially in the purple states—money and effort that they probably would probably prefer to dedicate to persuading Independents,” wrote Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford University, to the DCNF.
“Biden needs to hurry the Israeli mission along and distance himself from the Netanyahu government after the hostages are released. In the worst-case scenario, the hostages are not released, and the conflict lingers up to the election. This will make Biden’s shoring up the base even harder and more expensive,” Cain added, though he claimed that Democrats are vigilant about the problem they face and won’t “repeat their 2016 mistake of ignoring the base vote.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 4, 2023
In 2020, Biden won key swing states that were won by Trump by narrow margins, winning Michigan by 2.78%, Georgia by 0.23%, Arizona by 0.3%, Pennsylvania by 1.17%, Wisconsin by 0.63% and Nevada by 2.39%. Some experts have suggested that the political effect of the conflict may dissipate closer to the election as it receives less coverage, while voters may consider the prospect of a Trump victory as they choose whether and how to vote.
“I think there are just a lot of moving parts right now,” said Shawn Donahue, a professor of political science at the University of Buffalo to the DCNF. “Looking at polling results. This early can be a little bit tricky. So, you know, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama did not look good for re-election. They ultimately won,” he said, adding that “we also have to think about…[whether] Biden’s position may help him gain Jewish support.”
For the moment, even as most Democratic elected officials and the party establishment back his opposition to a ceasefire, it appears that Biden’s position on the issue is damaging him among Democratic base voters, whose unwillingness to vote — or, cast a vote for progressive third-party candidates like Green party candidate Jill Stein or independent Cornel West, who have supported a ceasefire — may split left-wing votes to his detriment.
“I voted for President Joe Biden and I’m disappointed with his decision to support Israel’s actions,” said Horlev Stumow, a young pro-Gaza protester at The White House on Oct. 16, to the DCNF. When asked whether he would vote for Biden again, Horlev said “Absolutely not.”
“In November, we remember!” screamed the crowd at Nov. 4’s protest, their chants certainly audible at The West Wing, just a few blocks away.
The White House and Biden’s 2024 presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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