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Trump and Biden win Michigan primaries

Photo: Jeff Kowalsky Agence France-Presse In Michigan, activists called for a blank vote in protest to pressure the president to reverse his support for Israel and call for an immediate ceasefire.

Frankie Taggart – Agence France-Presse in Dearborn and Washington respectively

February 28, 2024

  • United States

The American state of Michigan voted on Tuesday in a presidential primary which, on the Republican side, once again endorsed Donald Trump. Joe Biden won the Democratic primary in Michigan, but is under threat of a sanction vote for his support for Israel in this state with a large Muslim and Arab population.

The result could bode poorly for the re-election chances of the American president, who won this state narrowly against Donald Trump four years ago.

According to initial estimates, more than 20,000 “uncommitted” votes, the equivalent of a blank vote, were cast in the ballot box during the Democratic primary in this state, responding to a call to pressure the US president to call for an immediate ceasefire and end his support for Israel.

Activists in this key Midwestern region launched the “Listen to Michigan” campaign, to deliver a “powerful and unequivocal message” that funding and support for the war in Gaza are “contradictory to the values ​​of the Democratic Party.”

“President Biden is funding bombs that are falling on loved ones of families right here in Michigan, people who voted for him and who feel completely betrayed,” says Layla Elabed of the Listen to Michigan campaign.

As civilian casualties rise in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Joe Biden has seen his support erode significantly among Muslims and Arab Americans, a bloc that favors him had been crucial in 2020 against Donald Trump in Michigan.

The Democratic leader only won this northern state by 150,000 votes four years ago.

“Exceeded Expectations”

White House officials display growing frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his conduct of the war in Gaza.

However, the United States continues to deliver quantities of weapons to Israel, while leading intense efforts to negotiate a second truce in the war provoked by the bloody attack by Hamas on October 7 on Israeli soil.

Also read

  • Muslims in several key states withdraw support for President Joe Biden
  • Hope for a truce in Gaza next week revived by Washington

Joe Biden has asked Congress for billions of dollars in additional military aid for Israel, and his administration has vetoed several UN resolutions calling for a ceasefire.< /p>

The “Listen to Michigan” group wanted to mobilize at least 10,000 voters for its campaign, a number that is not just symbolic, activists say. A goal already largely exceeded.

“Our movement was victorious this evening and far exceeded our expectations,” he said in a statement.

A similar campaign demanding a ceasefire during the New Hampshire primary in January achieved nothing, but Michigan has a large Muslim and Arab population.

“I was proud today […] to vote blank,” said Rashida Tlaib, elected from Michigan to the US Congress. This democrat of Palestinian origin is also the sister of Layla Elabed.

“This is how we can use our democracy to say ‘listen to Michigan. Listen to the families who have been directly impacted, but also listen to the majority of Americans who say “Enough.” Enough wars, enough using our dollars to finance genocide,” she added.

Trump on his way

Fatima Elzaghir also voted blank in this election, she told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

“It is obvious that appealing to empathy has no influence on most politicians. So maybe the fact that (Biden) wants to win Michigan will push him to a ceasefire,” said this young nurse.

Joe Biden's only real opponent for the Democratic nomination, Dean Phillips, a wealthy Minnesota state legislator, received only 2.7% of the vote, according to initial estimates.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump has already won handily four states that voted, including South Carolina on Saturday, and Michigan has not stopped its march towards the Republican nomination this summer.

For its primaries, the Republican Party opted for a complex hybrid system which will conclude four days later.

Her only remaining opponent, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, lost in her home state of South Carolina, but she refuses to give up, saying she doesn't believe that Donald Trump can defeat Joe Biden in November.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116