Analysis | How risky for Biden is Arab American anger over Israel?

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Washington Post columnist Shadi Hamid It was noticed Something at home over the Thanksgiving holiday: Several Arabs have responded by saying they won’t support President Biden next year. Gaza war. They would not vote. Donald TrumpHe should be a candidate – they don’t plan to vote for president.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan reported hearing similar screams.

“Dems need to understand that the anger is very real,” he said. He wrote On social media.

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Democrats responsible for Biden’s re-election probably already knew he was unhappy. NBC News at the end of October He looked Biden’s unwavering support for Israel’s October 7 response angers Muslims and Arab Americans Hamas attack Even then, it was clear that the anger was not only felt at the individual level, but also at the institutional level, with community leaders suggesting that they and their organizations were denying support for democratic authority.

The obvious question is whether the evaporation of this support could change the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. It’s worth trying to answer if only how it reflects democratic coalitions—but it’s a question that raises more important concerns for the political left.

As of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau estimates that there were. About 3.5 million people In the United States, the Middle Eastern or North African species. This category, often referred to with the abbreviation “MENA”, is necessarily too broad for the question at hand, and includes individuals from various cultural and national backgrounds.

It is imperfect because the Bureau does not track MENA as a separate racial category. He planned to introduce the category in the 2020 survey. That was a change. Sharp In the Trump administration.

Using the bureau’s 2020 estimates by county, we see that counties with a higher percentage of MENA residents are more likely to support Biden in the 2020 election. On average, counties that supported Biden that year had twice the number of MENA residents than those that supported Trump.

That’s only among counties where the number of MENA-descended residents is measured. Trump won by 40 points in counties with very small MENA populations. Counties with a measurable MENA population but with the lowest density also favored Trump by 27 points. The higher the density of MENA residents, however, the greater the swing to the left. A fifth of the counties with the highest percentage of MENA residents supported Biden by 26 points.

This does not mean that those places are more democratic. because of Their higher populations than MENA residents. The counties with the highest percentages of MENA residents are the cities where Democrats generally win. Over 101 million people live in urban districts in the upper half of MENA population density. Immigrants to the United States have been seen for a long time Go to big cities and/or places where other immigrants from their own countries live, creating dense communities that share a common background. Big cities, however, are not particularly democratic because of MENA residents.

Looking at the question from the perspective of the 2020 results, we seem to have gained a bit more clarity. In the year In each of the five states that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020, the number of MENA residents was higher than the voting margin. That includes Michigan, which has one of the nation’s largest MENA populations. (Michigan wasn’t particularly close, despite the post-2020 talk; 18 states had narrower margins in the presidential race.)

Assuming the MENA community gives Biden the 2020 win, however, all residents are adult citizens registered to vote. That is not the case. The Census Bureau estimates that nearly a quarter of MENA residents are under the age of 18. If you think more, if you think MENA won the voters to 25 points, Michigan drops from the list. This does not apply to citizenship.

This of course addresses only one aspect of the question. The outrage over Biden’s response to Gaza has gone beyond US residents who fall into the MENA category, especially to many Muslim Americans. PRRI’s 2022 survey Religious Identity Estimates About 0.6 percent of Americans are Muslim, a number lower than what the Census Bureau classifies as MENA. Important to our analysis here, PRRI estimates that 1 percent of Democrats are Muslim. Biden in 2012 If he lost 1 percent of the vote in Arizona or Georgia in 2020, he would lose both states.

As non-white US residents, and particularly immigrants, are more likely to live in cities, political coalitions, while useful in identifying complexities, provide an incomplete picture. The numbers above are wrong in part because they focus on the trees and not the forest.

The main issue is curiosity or apathy if you will. Biden’s move as president would prevent his 2020 supporters from running for re-election in 2024. The issue is not that this particular group of American residents don’t vote. The extent to which they reflect only one aspect of a wider and similarly untouched society beyond MENA. Young people. Black people. Hispanic people. As we wrote, 2024 is determined by Wide design without noiseIf not narrow.

You can’t be president if you don’t please a portion of your base. Biden certainly didn’t rule this out. The question now is whether the anger from the 2020 base will last for the next 12 months – and how far the anger will spread. The left’s frustration with Biden’s handling of Gaza extends beyond Muslim and Arab American voters, for example.

This is where Hamid and Hassan’s observations are particularly informative: It seems safe to assume that the anger in that community will indeed linger, as will its influence elsewhere on the left.





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