Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-biden-faces-another-humiliating-protest-over-his-gaza-policy-as-thousands-in-wisconsin-plan-to-vote-‘uncommitted’-in-the-primaryAlert – Biden faces another humiliating protest over his Gaza policy as thousands in Wisconsin plan to vote ‘uncommitted’ in the primary

President Joe Biden faces another humiliting protest vote in Wisconsin’s Democratic primary as voters protest his Gaza policy, risking his chances of winning a critical state in the general election.

Voters who oppose Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war – many of whom are young progressives – are urging Democrats to choose the ‘uninstructed delegation’ or ‘uncommitted’ option on their ballots in the state’s presidential primary on Tuesday.

Biden has faced similar protest votes in other Democratic primaries, including in the key battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire. 

‘Uncommitted’ has won 25 delegates so far, compared to Biden’s 2,600-plus, according to ABC News’ count.

President Joe Biden faces a protest vote in Wisconsin's Democratic primary on Tuesday

President Joe Biden faces a protest vote in Wisconsin’s Democratic primary on Tuesday 

But Wisconsin is part of the Biden campaign’s ‘blue wall,’ a swath of Midwest states filled with blue-collar voters who traditionally voted Democratic – until Donald Trump won many of them over in 2016.

Biden won them back in 2020 and needs to keep them in his corner if he wants a second term in the White House. 

On Tuesday, the goal of one group – Listen to Wisconsin – is to convince 20,000 Democratic voters to cast their primary ballot for an alternative choice. That number is the margin by which Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin four years ago. 

Halah Ahmad, a Palestinian American activist and spokesperson for Listen to Wisconsin, who voted for Biden in 2020, said she felt betrayed by him. 

‘I feel really betrayed by the party leadership,’ she told NBC News. ‘I think history will be on our side but, for now, if I want to participate in this democracy, the uninstructed campaign is my only option.’ 

Many voters are starting to feel the same. According to a March Gallup poll, approval among Americans of Israeli military action in Gaza dropped to 36%.

Wisconsin has an open primary system where its contests are open to all registered voters.

In 2020, Biden won the state over Trump by a mere 0.63%, a far closer margin than expected.

Democrats trying to get 20,000 protest votes - the same margin by which Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin in 2020 election

Democrats trying to get 20,000 protest votes – the same margin by which Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin in 2020 election

A man rides a bicycle near the debris of damaged building as the area around the Al-Shifa Hospital is destroyed in Gaza City, Gaza

A man rides a bicycle near the debris of damaged building as the area around the Al-Shifa Hospital is destroyed in Gaza City, Gaza

Biden doesn’t face significant primary oppposition so voters are turning to ‘uncommitted’ and other options to register their anger over his policies in the Middle East.

The incumbent president, who has been a strong supporter of Israel, is under pressure at home and abroad to do more to help the Palestinian population in Gaza, which is facing famine conditions. 

The incumbent president has tried to balance his support for Israel’s war against Hamas with sympathy for the refugees and more than 32,000 people who have been killed.  

Tuesday isn’t Biden’s only experience with a protest vote. 

Last month in Minnesota, about 19% of the Democratic primary vote was for the ‘uncommitted.’ And, in Michigan last month, 13% of Democrats voted ‘uncommitted’ instead of for the president.

While those margins are small, Biden also won some of those states by small margins, sparking concern that enough of a protest vote could hand key battlegrounds to Trump in November’s general election.