The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

“Gaza Votes” May Determine November Election

According to Polls in Five Battleground States

Today, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) released the results of YouGov polls commissioned in five battleground states. The polls show roughly a fifth of Democratic and Independent voters in key states are less likely to vote for President Biden in November because of his support for Israel’s war in Gaza. Forty percent of voters polled say tangible, de-escalatory policy changes will make them more likely to vote for Biden in November: imposing a permanent ceasefire, full humanitarian aid to Gaza, and conditioning military aid for Israel’s war. 

Surveying 500 registered Democratic and Independent voters each in Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the statewide polls provide a detailed look at voters’ perceptions of Israel’s war in Gaza and how it impacts their votes in November. 

Among the states polled, anti-war votes could cost Biden the election in Arizona and Wisconsin in particular—in part due to the especially narrow margins of victory in those states: 10,457 and 20,682 in Arizona and Wisconsin, respectively. However, the polls show anti-war votes will matter in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well, where a third of Democrats and Independents consider a ceasefire and full entry of humanitarian aid as minimum changes to secure or solidify a vote for Biden. Read the full report here.

Key findings include:

  • Across all five states, a critical margin of voters—roughly one in five—are less likely to vote for Biden on account of his handling of the war in Gaza. 
  • Forty percent or more of Democratic and Independent voters in each state say that imposing an immediate and lasting ceasefire, conditioning aid to Israel, and ensuring full entry of humanitarian aid would make voters more likely to vote for Biden in November.  
  • Support for “uncommitted” anti-war protest campaigns represent a larger share of voters than actual turnout in each state’s primary; Pennsylvania had the strongest support. 
  • Between 55 and 66 percent of polled voters in each state say they support conditions on military aid to Israel. 
  • Roughly half or more Democratic or Independent voters say they believe Israel is committing a genocide against Palestinians. 
  • Over 50 percent of voters polled say they support the student encampments to push their universities to divest from Israel’s war. This indicates relatively strong sympathy for Palestine solidarity efforts even despite a media landscape of significant counter-narrative.  

What is certain is that the war in Gaza has turned into an electoral issue this year. What this opinion poll suggests is that President Biden cannot continue to ignore the convictions and demands of a large segment of the Democratic electoral base if he wants to maintain his chances of winning the upcoming November elections. A large percentage of Democrats oppose Biden’s handling of the Israeli war in Gaza—and an even larger percentage of them want to see a real change toward an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Either Biden does the morally and politically right thing and preserves his chances in the November elections, or he continues on the current path and risks jeopardizing his reelection bid. 

While some national polls have been used to suggest small numbers of Gaza voters overall, few statewide polls reliably examine the scale of anti-war Gaza voters as a proportion of Biden’s base—and their persistence as “uncommitted” voters in November. Each of the five states polled had robust anti-war primary campaigns for “uncommitted” or a pro-ceasefire candidate.  

It’s clear that Palestine is a critical issue in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Michigan. It’s not a passing protest effort that the Democratic Party can continue to ignore; people want an end to this war and a key margin of them will vote that way. But Biden can win over votes with a serious change in policy. 

Read Full Report Here

In solidarity, Dr. Osama Abu Irshaid Executive Director

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization advocating for legislation supporting the human rights of the Palestinian people and endorsing candidates for office who support those rights.





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