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A rally in Michigan on 25 February ahead of its primary Jim West/Alamy Live News
Super Tuesday

Democrats angry at Biden's support for Israel stage protest vote in presidential primaries

Democrats who do not approve of Biden’s weak response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza are putting themselves down as “uncommitted”.

DEMOCRATIC VOTERS HIGHLY concerned about the US’ support for Israel as it bombards Gaza have turned to labelling themselves as ‘uncommitted’ in presidential primaries instead of voting for President Joe Biden.

American states have been voting in primary elections, which are divided by political affiliation to allow each of the major parties to decide on a nominee to progress to the ballot in November.

Biden, as the incumbent president, has no real challenger for the Democratic nomination.

Democrats who do not approve of his support for Israel and weak response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza have taken to indicating that they are “uncommitted” in primary elections, rather than voting for Biden, to signal their discontent and try to push him to shift his position.

Yesterday marked an important day in the US’ election calendar as a number of states held primaries simultaneously on what is known as ‘Super Tuesday’.

Though Biden easily won in most primaries, except for in the small Pacific territory of American Samoa, the protest vote was visible in the results.

In Minnesota, around one in every five Democrats marked their ballots “uncommitted”.

The other six Super Tuesday states – Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Tennessee – all saw some degree of protest voting in the Democratic primaries, with North Carolina, at 12.7%, coming second to Minnesota.

Last week, in Michigan, more than 100,000 people (13%) voted “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary.

Speaking on CNN, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, said that “these are voters that are deeply concerned, as we all are”, adding that the “situation in Gaza is intolerable”.

He said that voters putting themselves down as uncommitted are “asking to be heard” on wanting change in Biden’s policies towards Gaza and Israel.

“We know that we’ve got eight months and we [need to] start bringing these folks back in and listen to what they’re saying. It’s a healthy thing that’s happening here,” he said.

Referring to Donald Trump, Walz said: “I would note that the former president lost twice as many votes here in Minnesota to Nikki Haley [in the Republican primary] and I’ve seen exit polls out of North Carolina and others – 80% of folks who voted for Nikki Haley said they’re not voting for him. So we’ll get these folks back.”

He said of the protest voters that their “message is clear that they think this is an intolerable situation and we need to do more, and I think the president is hearing that”.

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