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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Michigan Primary

Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The 2024 race has begun. The nomination phase has effectively ended.  But primaries go on.

Nate Cohn at NYT:
In Tuesday night’s results in Michigan, around one in eight Democrats voted “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary — a protest of the Biden administration’s policies toward Israel and the war in Gaza.

In some predominantly Arab American precincts in Dearborn, around three in four Democrats cast a protest vote for uncommitted.

Having one in eight Democrats vote uncommitted in an uncontested primary is not wholly unusual. As recently as the last time a Democratic president sought re-election, in 2012, 11 percent of Michigan Democratic caucusgoers voted for “uncommitted” instead of for Barack Obama.

Having three in four Democratic primary voters in Arab American communities do it, on the other hand, is an eye-popping figure. It goes well beyond the norm, and it’s a powerful indication that the war in Gaza poses serious political risks to President Biden.

Cohn offers some important caveats:

Imagine, for a moment, that in the last election Mr. Biden had lost every single voter in Dearborn, Hamtramck and Dearborn Heights — the three Michigan townships where Arab Americans make up at least 30 percent of the population. He still would have won Michigan — and still would have won it by more than he did Wisconsin, Arizona or Georgia.

For that same reason, Mr. Biden’s deficit in the polling of Michigan can’t mostly be attributed to his weakness among Arab American and Muslim voters. Overall, Arab Americans make up 2 percent of the state’s population and probably an even smaller share of the electorate. There are non-Arab Muslim voters, of course, adding another percentage point or more. In the end, 3 percent of the electorate can only do so much.