More than 60,000 protest votes cast against Biden in Pennsylvania could mean his reelection is in jeopardy

 April 26, 2024

More than 60,000 write-in votes in Pennsylvania could spell trouble for President Joe Biden in the battleground state, the Washington Examiner reported. The group Uncommitted PA is taking credit for the development after it launched a protest aimed at getting 40,000 "uncommitted" votes in the Democratic primary.

The Keystone State held its primary on Tuesday, and by Thursday, 99% of the votes had been counted. Biden, the incumbent Democrat, should have had an uneventful showing with very few votes against him.

However, Uncommitted PA rallied voters who were frustrated with Biden's handling of the war between Israel and Hamas which sent the White House into a panic. "We are celebrating that massive victory of over 60,000 votes, which have nearly doubled the total of write-ins in 2020, and even more so than the write-ins in 2016," the group's organizer, Rah Noonan, said in a victory lap.

Pennsylvania is crucial for Biden as he heads into the 2024 election against former President Donald Trump. Although Biden won the state by 80,000 votes in 2020, Trump managed to clinch it by a margin of 44,000 against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Broader Movement

Uncommitted PA's campaign began on March 25 with only volunteers but has done better than expected in capturing the enthusiasm against Biden. Noonan further pointed out that those who are part of the organization "want to uplift that there were over 120,000 registered Democrats who collectively withheld their votes from Biden," he said.

"And that number is just inclusive of the write-ins and the Dean Phillip vote. We’re not sure the accurate number of blank votes cast across the state because we don’t have a singular process for recording write-ins or undervotes in Pennsylvania," Noonan added.

Another 69,000 Pennsylvania primary votes went to Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), who had already dropped out of the race. The national organization portion of Uncommitted believes it has half of a million votes cast in protest against Biden in this year's primary, not counting Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's results seem to be part of a broader movement that's afoot as the tide turns against Biden. Just prior to the start of primary season, the "Abandon Biden" movement took off as Michigan cast its ballots and continued through Super Tuesday.

That movement largely picked up young Democratic voters as well as Arab and Muslim voters who are outraged about the ongoing war with Hamas. This underscores a problem for Biden as he will anger his base regardless of what side he falls on in the conflict.

Biden's Conundrum

As the violence continues between Israel and Hamas, Biden increasingly finds himself in a no-win situation. While he must support Israel as a loyal ally, his base is increasingly vocal about demanding a cease-fire from them.

This tension has erupted into several student protests in favor of the pro-Palestinian call for a ceasefire, the Associated Press reported. In order to get reelected, Biden needs the youth vote, which puzzlingly seems to be sympathetic to the Palestinian plight more so than that of the Israelis.

Students at Columbia University in New York have camped out in protest in favor of Hamas, leading to chaos and several arrests. At the same time, these protests have made Jewish students feel threatened even as the White House condemns the "alarming surge" of antisemitism.

If Biden sides with pro-Palestinian protesters, he'll be seen as embracing the antisemitism many on that side of the issue espouse. If he sides with Israel, he risks even more chaos from the unruly protesters already itching to start a fight.

Biden is going to have a very difficult time in 2024 based on his political record alone. With the tinderbox of the Israel-Hamas conflict thrown in, the president could very easily lose his reelection bid.

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