The Michigan primary results are in—and the number of uncommitted Democratic votes are astounding.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 100,000 Democratic voters chose to check the “uncommitted” box rather than back Joe Biden in his reelection campaign, according to the Associated Press. That’s about 13 percent of people—or 1 in every 7 people—who voted uncommitted, thanks in large part to a protest campaign urging the president to reverse course over his reckless support for Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza. Biden won the primary with only about 80 percent of the vote.
That 100,000 uncommitted number is a much bigger deal than it seems. Organizers of the “Listen to Michigan” and “Abandon Biden” campaigns had set a goal of just 10,000 voters—and they flew far past those expectations.
Uncommitted vote campaign organizers spent weeks reaching out to Democratic voters, urging them to make their voice known—and help send a wake-up call to Biden on his horrific support for Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.
The number of uncommitted votes is also concerning if you recall what the 2020 election looked like. Biden won the state of Michigan by a mere 154,000 votes, a much narrower margin than most polls and pundits at the time had predicted. That margin is only about half of the number of people in Michigan who listed Middle Eastern or North African ancestry in the 2020 census. About 146,000 Muslim Americans voted in Michigan’s 2020 general election, according to an analysis by the Muslim advocacy group Emgage, nearly Biden’s entire margin of victory.
These aren’t just random numbers. Polling indicates that a majority of Muslim and Middle Eastern Americans backed Biden in 2020. The Associated Press reported that 64 percent of Muslims across the country supported Biden in 2020, while only 35 percent supported Trump. And in heavily Arab American counties in Michigan, voters backed Biden by nearly 70 percent.
All of this was a safe assumption in 2020, given that the race was between Biden and the guy who pushed the Muslim ban, which targeted several Middle Eastern countries. But by November 2024, that may be no longer enough.
“The overwhelming shift of voters away from Biden makes one thing clear to the Biden administration: complicity in genocide isn’t up for debate,” the Abandon Biden campaign said in a statement Tuesday. “And if Michigan’s message says anything, it is that what awaits Biden in November isn’t victory but loss. And what awaits the Democratic Party is irrelevance.”
Many Arab and Muslim activists from Michigan speculated that the large uncommitted vote means that it’s not even just Middle Eastern or Muslim Americans who are concerned about Biden’s policies in Gaza.
“The uncommitted results are showing that this isn’t just Arabs and Palestinians. This is an issue for all Democrats in [Michigan],” Abed Ayoub, the national executive director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, warned Tuesday evening. “We’ve been saying this for months, but the experts and paid consultants tried their best to refute this point.”
Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell, who before the Michigan primary tried to warn that Trump would be much worse than Biden and “nuke” Gaza completely, had another dire warning after the results came in.
“We’ve watched too many innocent people die there. Gaza is in terrible shape,” Dingell said on CNN Tuesday evening. “But I think [Biden] does need to sit down with this community when feelings are quite so raw.”
Dingell also warned that it’s not just Arab Americans responsible for the protest vote. “It’s young people,” she said. “They are watching innocent civilians being killed.”
For nearly five months, Biden has ignored a huge swath of Americans worried about Israel’s relentless bombing turned ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza. He has downplayed the death toll in Gaza, studiously avoided using the word cease-fire, overseen the vetoing of multiple U.N. resolutions calling for a cease-fire, and bypassed Congress twice to deliver more than $250 million in military aid to Israel. The Biden administration keeps saying it’s doing something behind the scenes to stop these atrocities—but as Michigan’s primary results show, far too many Americans no longer believe him.