President Joe Biden’s stance on Israel has caused his support levels among Arab Americans to plummet, a result that could cost him a key swing state (or several) in the 2024 presidential election.
Since fighting broke out between Israel and Palestine, Biden has pledged total support to Tel Aviv. He only recently changed his stance to call for a humanitarian pause—instead of a complete cease-fire—so that aid can enter Gaza and foreigners can evacuate.
His position could cost him dearly. A poll conducted by the Arab American Institute following the outbreak of violence in Palestine and Israel found that support for Biden among Arab Americans has more than halved since 2020.
Just 17 percent of Arab American voters support the president, down from 59 percent during the previous election cycle—a 42 percent drop. Two-thirds of Arab Americans disagree with Biden’s response to the violence in Israel and Palestine.
“This is the most dramatic shift over the shortest period of time that I’ve ever seen,” James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, told Time.
This shift could cost not just Biden but the entire Democratic Party the election in 2024. The largest Arab American community lives in Dearborn, Michigan, a crucial battleground state. There are smaller populations in Pennsylvania and Georgia, both of which are still larger than Biden’s 2020 margin of victory in those states.
More than half of Arab Americans voted for Biden in 2020, but now, community leaders are turning on him. “Just changing his tone—that’s not enough,” Sami Khaldi, the president of the Dearborn Democratic Club and a former 2020 Biden delegate, said to Time about Biden’s new call for a humanitarian pause.
“Every president comes here and says the best solution for the Middle East crisis is to have a two-state solution, but you don’t see anyone have the courage to do it. We need him to do that.”