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Will Israel lose Joe Biden the election?

Joe Biden visits Tel Aviv last month. Credit: Getty

November 6, 2023 - 7:00am

A new poll by the New York Times puts President Joe Biden significantly behind Donald Trump in five of the six key battleground states. The poll has Trump ten points ahead in Nevada, six ahead in Georgia, five ahead in Arizona and Michigan, and four ahead in Pennsylvania. Biden is only currently leading in Wisconsin — and even then, he is only leading by two points.

But this is only the beginning of the President’s problems. The war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip looks like it could shake up next year’s US election in profound ways. Americans predominantly support Israel, yet those who do not are both extremely passionate and politically important. The headline numbers show that 48% of Americans are more sympathetic to Israel, while only 10% lean towards Palestine.

When one looks further into the data, though, different trends emerge. For example, 24% of black Americans support Israel while 14% support Palestine. Among those aged between 18–29, 35% support Israel while 18% back Palestine. When looking at self-identified liberals, 30% support Israel while 18% express more sympathy for Palestine. From these polls it appears that around 14-18% of the most reliable and solid Democratic Party voters support Palestine in the current conflict.

The energy amongst these demographics can be seen in the large protests we are seeing both in the United States and across the world. Over the weekend, around 30,000 protestors marched on Washington DC in support of Palestine, with a substantial number of protestors tied to activist organisations strongly associated with the Democratic Party. Indeed, many of these people are likely the very activists on whom the Democrats rely to canvas on doorsteps or organise “get out the vote” programmes.

These trends are already becoming apparent in the predicted figures for third-party candidates, who are currently seeing their best polling results since Ross Perot. These surveys show independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr and Cornel West polling at 17% of the vote. Third-party politicians have previously upset American electoral outcomes by polling far lower: Ralph Nader affected the course of the 2000 election, depriving Al Gore of an expected victory, all while polls showed his support to be in single digits

Kennedy initially tweeted strong support for the Israelis after the Hamas attacks on 7 October, but has gone largely silent on the issue since. Unless a candidate’s personal feelings on the conflict are extremely strong, it would surely be hard not to see the opportunity for taking a more dovish line than Biden on the issue. Cornel West is a passionate advocate of the Palestinian cause, and there seems every possibility that he will use the issue and the accompanying protests in America to turbocharge his campaign.

The Biden candidacy is already in trouble. His time in office has been at best lacklustre, and it is no secret that while his progressive base has toed the line, these supporters have been less than impressed with the outcome. But the Israel-Palestine issue is one that sends emotions soaring, especially amongst this very base. With the war expected to last for some time yet, it could end up being the defining issue of the 2024 election for the Democrats. For Biden, it could be a presidential death knell.


Philip Pilkington is a macroeconomist and investment professional, and the author of The Reformation in Economics

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John Weaver
John Weaver
8 months ago

Interesting piece but it should read ‘toed the line’. ‘Towed’ is incorrect

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago
Reply to  John Weaver

Quite right John. A common mistake, almost as irritating as “unchartered territory” and “the proof is in the pudding”.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
8 months ago

or my least favourite: A Fine Tooth-Comb?

Chris Ward
Chris Ward
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Or putting someone on a pedal stool.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris Ward

Never heard that one – that’s hilarious.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago

It could easily be “towed the line”. What is the derivation?

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago

His time in office has been at best lacklustre
WTF?
Botched pull-out from Afghanistan.Inflation way up.Border crisis spreads to NYC, and other blue citiesPurely racist/sexist picks for SCOTUS, VP, spokesperson, etc.Bribery trail from Ukraine, Turkey, China becoming clearUkraine warIsrael warWhat’s not to love?

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Jimmy Carter 2.0

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

Mmmm.. I doubt it, the deep state, MIC and WEF will all have to endorse the Dem candidate whomsoever that turns out to be.. Jimmy’s not their type I fear..

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

Jimmy Carter’s still going at 99 and surely wasn’t that bad. Partly had a run of bad luck with the economy and Iran. Did more for Middle East peace than anyone before or since (Israel/Egypt has been stable ever since). Did a lot of good work for charity (yes, I mean that without the sarcastic UK overtones that brings) since 1980. He’ll get a good write up when he goes. A few political reputations improve with age – he’s probably one of them.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
8 months ago
Reply to  Caty Gonzales

Jimmy Carter, I think, was too decent a human being to really succeed as president. I admire him for that goodness, and for the successes he did have, notably in the Middle East.
I voted for Joe Biden, but no longer admire him — on this issue and several others — and won’t vote for him again.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
8 months ago

Perhaps the more relevant question is whether Biden will even get to the election at all, there seems to be a growing number of voices calling for him to withdraw from the race.
Therefore, a more appropriate headline might have been: “Will Israel lose Democrats the election?”

Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well, a current BBC piece is insisting that “On Inauguration Day 2025, Biden will be 82, Trump will be 78. There are no indications to think that either of them are in poor health”.
On the other hand, I’ve seen people like Biden and Mitch McConnell trying to speak coherent sentences and failing.
Back to the point, it may be that Biden’s coalition of support contains as many contradictions and conflicts as anyone else’s these days. Everything has become rather tribal and fragmented and the primary allegience for many seems to be to a cause rather than a party. I wouldn’t be paying too much attention to polls this far out.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

“no indications to think that either of them are in poor health”
Hahahaha! Biden is suffering from early dementia, Trump is just beginning to seem a bit senile.
The BBC must get its health views from your NHS.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

It’s not early, it’s full blown. Were it not for the hourly shots of embalming fluid speed, he be babbling in a hospital gown in Scranton.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

It’s arguable I suppose whether reduced cognitive abilities in old age, suffered by many, qualifies as “poor health”. But it certainly ought to preclude either of them being Head of State and Chief Executive of the nation.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Gavin Newsom was in China recently, trying to look like some kind of statesman, it looks like Joe will be pushed aside

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

This will really upset Biden. He is counting on those bribery payments. Or is Newsom now Joe’s bagman?

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

And he has agreed to debate Ron DeSantis, who obviously IS running for president.
Fetterman (Pennsylvania Sen. Democrat party) has been calling out Newsom for running against Biden without being truthful about it.
Luckily for old Joe, he has Harris sitting in the VP slot. Her unpopularity means the call for him to step aside isn’t as strong as it ought to be, but the fact that she checks a couple of important identity boxes means she is tough to pass over.
The Democrats have put themselves in a bit of a bind here. How sad!

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
8 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

An even more radical thought is whether there will be an election at all. US is now in 2 proxy wars with a Taiwan push next Spring being a possible third.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
8 months ago

No. Joe Biden will lose Joe Biden the election.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago

It didn’t last time….. Trump could certainly lose the Republicans the election…..

0 0
0 0
8 months ago

Radical leftists are the type of people who obsess about problems in other countries but turn a blind to what happens in their own. Causes only exist as a means to act out a heroic role in their narcissistic psychodrama.

Last edited 8 months ago by 0 0
Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
8 months ago

I was disappointed in RFK, Jr.’s initial response to the Hamas attacks, which ran counter to the impressive “Peace and Diplomacy” speech he gave in June. I’m a sanely non-woke Democrat who won’t vote for Biden and still have hopes for Kennedy. But the inconsistency was disturbing. HIs pro-Israel hawkishness made me suspect he was attempting to dispel accusations of anti-Semitism, which were baseless and did not warrant dispelling.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
8 months ago

Will the support for continued Israeli slaughter of innocent children, 5,000 and counting, haunt political figures not just in the ’24 US election but for decades to come?
Those who 80 years ago turned a blind eye to the suffering and death of German (et al) Jews, and those who egged it on did not have online footage to deny them their lies and denials of wicked collaboration back then, but now their heartless complacency and evil support for Israeli genocidal murder of Palestinians will haunt them forever.. and they deserve everything they get..
It is utterly appalling that so-called Christians support these Satanic crimes against humanity.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It isn’t “genocidal murder” of Palestinians, you twerp! Any more than it was of German civilians in World War 2. Couldn’t Israel have finished the job by now if it was? Another deluded leftist who wouldn’t understand the concept of “enemy” if he were punching him in the face. Do you think Hamas think of western progressives with anything except utter contempt? Useful idiots I think is the apt phrase

Hamas are currently fully and entirely responsible for the suffering of civilians on both sides. There was no need to stage that attack.