Will Biden’s Michigan Troubles Go Away If the War Ends?

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Joe Biden has problems in Michigan that he’s gambling will go away by election time.

The anti-Israel, pro-Hamas sentiment in Michigan is stronger there than almost anywhere else. Michigan only has the sixth-largest state population of Muslims but they are concentrated in a relatively small area in the southeastern part of the state, making them far more likely to vote as a bloc. 

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Biden won Michigan by about 155,00 votes in 2020 and there are 200,000 Muslim voters in the state. But that’s where Biden’s problems with Michigan only begin. In 2022, Michigan’s college students’ turnout rate was the highest in the country. And the kids are not alright — the 18-29 generation shows the least support for Israel among all age groups. So it’s not just Muslims who are ready to embarrass Joe Biden in Michigan.

Amid a steady stream of polls showing Donald Trump leading in the state, leaders there in the Arab and Muslim American communities have organized against Biden over what they see as the administration’s disregard for Palestinian suffering.

A more radical campaign under the banner of “Abandon Biden” has given up on him completely. A more moderate campaign calling itself “Listen to Michigan” is holding out hope that Biden can change course and back a permanent cease-fire. They are urging voters to send him a message in today’s Michigan primary by choosing “uncommitted” on their ballot.

Biden is outwardly playing it cool. He hasn’t been to Michigan since Feb. 1. But his allies in the state say that behind the scenes there is panic at the White House and inside the Biden reelection campaign.

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The rough welcome his campaign aides and surrogates have gotten in Michigan has set off alarm bells throughout the Democratic Party. Suppose Biden were to finish second to “uncommitted”? If he thought the buzz about being replaced was loud before, a second-place finish in a general election state he absolutely has to have to win would possibly create the first calls for him to drop out.

“They are freaking out about the uncommitted vote,” said a Democrat close to Biden.

Biden quietly recorded a couple of radio interviews that aired yesterday to boost Democratic turnout. And he used his trip to 30 Rock to assure the public that a cease-fire, at least a temporary one, is right around the corner. After wrapping the interview with Meyers, the two hit a nearby ice cream parlor and Biden said he hoped for calm by Monday.

“Nothing in politics is a coincidence,” Rep. RO KHANNA (D-Calif.) told us about the election-eve timing of Biden’s statements. “This is happening because the president is hearing that a large part of his coalition wants this war to end.”

It took Biden a long time to engage in personal outreach to Muslim and Arab leaders in the state, and that occurred only after lobbying by elected officials, one of whom said Biden’s aides were “keeping him in a bubble.”

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Related: Biden Says a Deal Is Near to Halt Gaza Fighting for Ramadan. Is It True, or Is He Delusional?

Is Biden so out of it that he’s the last Democrat in the country who found out he had troubles in Michigan?

Rep. Khanna accused Biden’s aides of “keeping him in a bubble.” “There is a deep sense of hurt and loss, pain, grief among the Muslim and Arab American community and the progressive community,” Khanna said.

If the war ends before the election, the pain and hurt among the anti-Israel crowd will not suddenly disappear. This is going to have lasting effects on the Democratic Party.

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