The president thought he was untouchable. He’s dead wrong.
Because Joe Biden has a punishment on the way that he never could’ve seen coming.
The battleground state of Michigan is home to a sizable Muslim and Arab American community that is dissatisfied with President Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict in Gaza and there’s a growing fear that his backing of Israel in the aftermath of the terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7 may lose him the state.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators flocked to Dearborn, Michigan, on Thursday to voice their disapproval of President Biden’s handling of the crisis. To allay their fears, top Biden administration officials visited with local lawmakers, activists, and religious leaders in the Arab American center of the state. Reporters spoke with local advocates and political strategists who told the story that Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war has angered the Muslim community in Michigan, which might hurt his chances of winning the state.
“The majority of the community will not support Biden, so he’s already lost the state,” said Nasser Beydoun, a board member and past chairman of the Arab American Civil Rights League. “Last time he won, he won with the unanimous support of our community. And he made promises when he was here that he never fulfilled, and now, you know, with a genocide under his belt, you know, I don’t know how he’s gonna dig himself out of this hole.”
According to an exit survey conducted by the anti-Israel group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 69% of Muslim voters backed Biden in the past election cycle. Biden defeated Trump in Wayne County, Michigan, by a margin of about 40 points. This county includes Dearborn and other major cities in the Metro Detroit region.
The United States Census Bureau reports that, with around 310,000 people, Michigan is home to the second-highest population in the country claiming ancestry from the Middle East or Northern Africa. Approximately 242,000 Muslims call the Lansing area home, and the state is also host to the second-largest Arab American community, which comprises 54% of Dearborn.
“Then we will see how this administration responds, because if they think that we are going to forget by November, and they don’t produce a concrete action to end the genocide, rebuild the country and establish a Palestinian state, then our job is to make sure that Biden is not the next President of the United States,” added Beydoun.
In response to President Biden’s failure to help secure a truce before the conflict in Gaza broke out, a group of activists known as “Abandon Biden” was established. The campaign aims to dissuade Muslim voters from re-electing Biden in a number of key presidential battleground states, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Democrat co-chair of Michigan’s Abandon Biden campaign Samra’a Luqman told media reporters that the president can’t do anything to fix the situation before November.
“I would be willing to discuss reelecting Biden into another term if he could resurrect all the 30,000 people that have died so far,” Luqman asserted. “And it’s not a sentiment that is just exclusive to me, or that it is an individual personal sentiment, this is really, really an entire population, an entire community in Michigan, that feels the same way.”
— Hassan Chami (@Hasschami) February 3, 2024
The battleground state is home to almost 200,000 registered Muslims, with about 145,000 casting ballots in the 2020 election. This information comes from the Michigan chapter of Emgage, a group that seeks to engage Muslim American voters.
The importance of the vote was stressed by Jason Cabel Roe, a Republican strategist from Michigan, because Joe Biden won the state by such a narrow margin in 2020.
“I think he’s in deep trouble with the Arab and Muslim population,” Roe said of the matter. “And you do have some third-party candidates that are very full-throated in their support of a two-state solution at a minimum, and certainly pro-Palestinian in the maximum. So I think they can siphon off those votes from Biden, or you can see a lot of those voters sit on their hands.”
Former U.S. senator and current “Justice for All Party” presidential candidate Cornel West has been an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights and demanded an end to hostilities in Gaza ever before the conflict broke out. Many people believe that Green Party nominee Jill Stein was responsible for Hillary Clinton’s defeat in several swing states in 2016. Stein has also spoken out against the war and has called for a “pledge to stop genocide.”
Michigan Democrat Adolph Mongo maintains Biden has “an edge” in the battleground state, but he claims “the Democratic Party is in trouble.”
“Several polls show that the president has several problems. One is in the Arab community. I’m not surprised when he went to Israel and played kissy kissy with Netanyahu. That’s gonna piss off a whole lot of folks,” Mongo said. “Sooner or later, they gotta pull Israel back from doing what they’re doing. While they have a right to defend themselves, they don’t have a right to continue to bomb and kill innocent civilians.”
“Democrats gonna have to beef up their campaign message, or he’s gonna go down like Hillary did in 2016,” Mongo added.
Another Democratic congressman who has vowed not to back Biden in 2024 because of his support for Israel is Rashida Tlaib, who represents Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. The congresswoman’s use of the term “From the River to the Sea” drew strong criticism from those who believe it advocates for the total dismantling of the Israeli state and is inherently anti-Semitic rhetoric.
On the flip side, Joe Biden has faced intense criticism from conservatives for giving mixed signals about his support for Israel and exhibiting total incompetence in handling the Middle Eastern conflict.
.@JoeBiden inherited a secure border, strong economy and peace in the Middle East from President Trump.
Everything he's done since he took office has left the American people worse off. pic.twitter.com/XO3mLZseqh
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) February 6, 2024
Joe Biden’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict has done him absolutely no favors. It’s only worsened his approval ratings which were already on life support. Now he’s alienating the few people who were on his side.
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.