Half a million voters protest Biden’s Gaza stance

With results now in from this week’s primaries, the total vote for “uncommitted” options on state ballots stands at 530,502. An opposition inside the Democratic Party, the Uncommitted National Movement, has begun coordinating various efforts in a number of states, according to The Nation of April 5.

In this string of primary elections, thousands of Democratic voters rejected “Genocide Joe” by picking “uncommitted.” The voting began in Michigan at the end of February, when 101,457 voters made that choice.

Nearly 50,000 Wisconsin voters (8.3% of the total) chose “uninstructed” – the state’s version of “uncommitted” – in their April 2 Democratic primary as part of a growing campaign in the United States to use the ballot to protest U.S. support for Israel’s massacre of people in Gaza.

“We more than DOUBLED our goal!” wrote Listen to Wisconsin, the group behind the effort in that state, on Facebook. This count is more than double the amount by which Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election.

On March 5, some 45,000 voters in Minnesota cast their vote for “uncommitted.” This represented 19% of all ballots cast in that state’s Democratic primary.

In the spring primary season, results similar to those in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota took root in Connecticut, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Colorado.

While communities of Arab origin have shown an intense interest in these “uncommitted” campaigns, these coalitions have been multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and multi–religious.

Practical effects of these votes

These primary contests choose delegates to the national conventions of the Democratic and Republican parties, which will be held this summer. The major purpose of these conventions is to select candidates for each party, including for president.

Once the candidate is selected, the state parties have the job of selecting a slate of electors before the general election. These slates, which are pledged to support the party’s candidate, are who the voters get to choose from in the general election.

A U.S. president is not directly elected by individual voters. Instead, the winner must get 270 or more of the 539 Electoral College votes. If no candidate gets this majority, the election is decided in Congress.

While this detail may seem unimportant, it means that it is possible for a presidential candidate to finish second in the total popular vote, yet win in the Electoral College. This is what happened when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000 and Donald Trump beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.

It is clear that the Democratic Party apparatus will try to brush aside the current “uncommitted.” But this can happen only at great risk to Biden’s campaign, since the hundreds of thousands of such voters could cause Biden to lose a few key states, and thus lose the election.

The “uncommitted” votes may show a deep and growing countrywide mass anger over the genocide in Gaza, committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces and armed by the U.S. government.

G. Dunkel

G.Dunkel@workers.org

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G. Dunkel

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