Biden Sees Michigan Mount Gaza Protest With 'Uncommitted' Votes

6 weeks ago U.S. President Joe Biden easily won the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan on Tuesday, but a protest vote by Democrats angry over his support for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza was growing as returns were counted.

“I voted uncommitted because President Biden is not doing the right thing...”

Many in Michigan's large Arab American community who backed Biden in 2020, along with some progressive Democrats, are angry over Biden's support for Israel's offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza where tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed.

Democratic voters there were urged to mark their ballots as ‘uncommitted’ in protest.

Dearborn is a liberal city at the forefront of the opposition to Biden's Israel strategy.

Dozens gathered at a party there after the primary… Layla Elabed, manager of the ‘uncommitted’ campaign Listen to Michigan, and sister of House lawmaker Rashida Tlaib, was there:

"I can't express enough the amazing team that has come together to put 'uncommitted' on the map as everyone is looking at Michigan in order to save lives. I want to remind everyone that a vote 'uncommitted' was a humanitarian vote. It was our vote to save as many lives as possible."

Six voters Reuters interviewed in Dearborn on Tuesday said they were voting uncommitted.

But the broader impact of the movement on Biden’s re-election run remains unclear.

February polling shows that 61% Democrats overall support Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

And in Michigan's largest city of Detroit, most Democrats interviewed said they would stick with Biden.

Michigan offers an “uncommitted” option as a way of questioning whether a named candidate has the support of the party’s base.

With almost half of Democratic votes counted, Edison Research put the number of "uncommitted" voters at around 60,000, far exceeding the target of 10,000 that protest organizers had hoped for.

However election officials are not necessarily able to determine which 'uncommitted' votes are protesting Biden's Gaza policy.

In response to the opposition in Michigan, a senior Biden campaign official said: "We're taking this seriously. The president himself has said repeatedly that he hears these demonstrators and that he thinks that their cause is important."

Biden beat Trump by just a narrow margin here in the 2020 election.

Prominent Michigan Democrats have warned that if voters abandon Biden, they could hand the swing state and the country back to Trump in November.