Home Politics Liberal Group Joins Efforts Calling for Protest Vote Against Biden in Michigan

Liberal Group Joins Efforts Calling for Protest Vote Against Biden in Michigan

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Liberal Group Joins Efforts Calling for Protest Vote Against Biden in Michigan

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Our Revolution, the political organization that Senator Bernie Sanders launched in 2016, is throwing its weight behind the movement to vote Uncommitted in Michigan’s Democratic primary, seeking to pressure President Biden into changing his approach to the war between Israel and Hamas.

On Wednesday, Our Revolution is planning to send an email to 87,000 members in Michigan and to about 225,000 supporters in other states, encouraging them to vote Uncommitted in the state’s Feb. 27 primary to “push Biden to change course on Gaza now.”

Former Representative Andy Levin, Democrat of Michigan and a signee of the letter, said Mr. Biden was at risk of having voters sit out the November election in protest of U.S. policy toward the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He warned that Mr. Biden could lose the state to former President Donald J. Trump in the general election without a major change in Israel policy.

“I am working with some people who feel like they will never vote for Joe Biden, but there are many, many, many I feel will vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 5 if he changes course,” Mr. Levin said in an interview Tuesday evening. “This is the best way I can help Joe Biden.”

Our Revolution’s push to back Uncommitted will include phone banking, text banking and events on Michigan’s college campuses. The group’s effort joins another by a group of Arab American Democrats from Dearborn, Mich., that has since attracted the support of a few dozen local elected officials.

Larry Cohen, Our Revolution’s chairman, said that he hoped such a push could win support of at least 10 percent of the Michigan Democratic primary electorate, which he estimated would require about 20,000 votes, given estimates for what is expected to be a low-turnout contest. There are no other major elections on the state’s Feb. 27 ballot.

Last week, Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, a leading Biden surrogate, urged the state’s voters to back the president in the primary; she warned that whipping support against him now could backfire in November.

“There’s a lot at stake in this upcoming election, and I would just encourage people not to lose sight of that, too,” she told reporters Thursday. “A potential second term for the former president would be very hard on all the communities that are still being impacted by what’s happening overseas as well, and that’s something that shouldn’t be lost on people’s calculation, too.”

Mr. Biden’s campaign declined to comment.

Mr. Biden is not likely to be challenged by the other Democrats on the Michigan ballot. Marianne Williamson suspended her long-shot campaign last week. Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota has failed to win more than trace amounts of support outside of New Hampshire, where he placed 40 points behind Mr. Biden, who was not on the ballot there.

The Biden administration has signaled its concern over the erosion of support from Michigan. Last week, a delegation of officials met with Arab American and Muslim leaders in Dearborn, at which a high-ranking official acknowledged mistakes in the administration’s response to the war in Gaza.

The last time there was a significant effort to get Michigan Democrats to vote for Uncommitted came in 2008. After Michigan defied Democratic National Committee rules by moving its primary up in the nominating calendar that year, Barack Obama’s campaign, which was not on the ballot, urged supporters to vote for Uncommitted as a proxy against Hillary Clinton. About 40 percent of Democratic primary voters that year chose Uncommitted against Mrs. Clinton and three other candidates.

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