US primaries: Biden, Trump win Michigan, Gaza impacts vote

The former and the sitting presidents seem set to repeat the 2020 presidential race. A sizable Arab-American community in Michigan withdrew support from Biden, over his policies on the war in Gaza

The Michigan vote was overshadowed by a campaign against the war in Gaza. (photo: DW)
The Michigan vote was overshadowed by a campaign against the war in Gaza. (photo: DW)


US President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump are moving closer to repeating the 2020 presidential election, after having both won the Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday.

However, a movement by the Arab-American community in Michigan, among the biggest Arab-American communities nationwide, withdrew their support for the sitting president, choosing "uncommitted" in protest against his policies on the war in Gaza.

What do we know about the 'Listen to Michigan' movement?

The 'Listen to Michigan' movement, widely publicized by Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, aims to send a message to Biden.

Movement supporters are threatening to withhold votes for Biden during the November race in the swing state if he does not change his policies on the war.

Biden beat Trump in Michigan by just 2.8 percentage points in the 2020 election.

"I was proud today to walk in and pull a Democratic ballot and vote 'uncommitted,'" said Tlaib. "When 74% of Democrats in Michigan support a cease-fire, yet President Biden is not hearing us, this is the way we can use our democracy to say, 'Listen... listen to Michigan.'"

Early figures suggested "uncommitted" ballots were at 19,000 soon after polls closed.

Some Arab-American voters also told news agencies they would vote for Trump, also citing their disappointment with Biden's support for Israel in its war on the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has thus far left nearly 30,000 Palestinians killed.

The war started after Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization in several countries including the US, launched its deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people.

Trump continues to dominate primaries

Trump has meanwhile continued his dominance of the early states, winning the support of most pockets of the Republican voting base. On Saturday, he beat his top Republican contender Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina.

However, as was the case on Saturday, Haley performed well with moderate and college-educated voters, where Trump has struggled to collect votes.

Olivia Perez-Cubas, Haley's campaign spokeswoman, said the Michigan results were a "flashing warning sign for Trump in November."

"Let this serve as another warning sign that what has happened in Michigan will continue to play out across the country. So long as Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, Republicans will keep losing to the socialist left. Our children deserve better."

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Published: 28 Feb 2024, 12:09 PM