President Joe Biden’s re-election bid in 2024 may be on shaky ground due to his handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
A recent report indicates that Biden's approach to the war could shift the political landscape in key swing states, potentially undermining his chances for a second term.
According to Axios, the states in question - Michigan, Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania - are home to significant populations of Arab and Muslim Americans. These citizens are reportedly unhappy with Biden's stance on the conflict.
The report emphasized that even minor changes in voter sentiment could have a significant impact. These states, all won by Biden in 2020, were decided by slim margins.
In Michigan, for instance, Biden’s victory was by a margin of 154,000 votes, significantly less than the state’s Arab American population of at least 278,000. Similarly, in Arizona, Biden's win was by just 10,500 votes, a number dwarfed by the estimated 60,000 Arab Americans residing in the state.
Georgia also followed this pattern, with Biden's victory margin of 11,800 votes being outstripped by its Arab American population of at least 57,000. The report notes that these population estimates could be low, further highlighting the potential impact of this demographic on the election outcome.
Axios quoted two Arab Americans, including Osama Siblani. As the publisher of The Arab American News, the largest and oldest Arab American newspaper in the U.S., Siblani's words carry weight.
“Unless Biden turns into Jesus Christ and brings some Palestinians back from the dead, we’re not supporting him. It’s over.”
This sentiment illustrates the magnitude of the disillusionment felt by some Arab Americans toward Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war.
The potential defections from these key voter groups pose a risk to Biden's re-election. They were instrumental in his 2020 victory over Donald Trump, who is likely to be his opponent in the upcoming election.
Following a recent solidarity visit to Israel amid the ongoing conflict, Biden faced criticism from both Israeli and Palestinian sides. His call for Israel to implement temporary ceasefires for hostage release and aid delivery to Gaza has been met with resistance.
Despite these challenges, Biden has reportedly met with Arab American leaders and held listening sessions with upset staffers across government agencies, demonstrating his commitment to engaging with these communities.
Despite these efforts, some Arab Americans, like Samia Assed, a Palestinian American peace activist, are expressing concern about a potential lack of voter turnout in 2024.
“It has been numbing to us. I feel very depressed,” Assed told Axios, expressing her concern that the current situation might discourage Arab Americans from voting.
This potential apathy among Arab American voters could have significant implications for the 2024 election, particularly in swing states.