Biden Struggles in the Battle for Nevadan Voters

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Graphic by Petra Molina.

On Oct. 7, President Biden announced his unequivocal support for the Israeli government in the conflict with Hamas. However, as Gaza reports the Palestinian death toll surpassing 24,000 people, his response has triggered fury among the Democratic Party and, arguably the most serious case of dissent, Nevada’s electoral voters.

A rough rhythmic chant, growing in intensity against Biden, goes: “Genocide Joe has got to go!” As Biden gears up for an electoral rematch with former President Donald Trump, the risk of the Palestinian death toll dominating the headlines has become too large.

On Dec. 18, Nevada’s Muslim leaders gathered in Las Vegas during a press conference. They pledged to abandon Biden over his stance on the Israel-Hamas war and to actively campaign against him and other politicians in 2024 who have refused to call a cease-fire. 

“We want to make it clear that we firmly oppose and do not endorse violence, discrimination or any unlawful activities,” Imam Abdul Al Aziz Eddebbarh, a religious community leader in the Nevada Muslim Community, said outside of the United States District Court to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “We gather here, not just as individual[s], but as a force united by a fierce dedication to justice, humanity and peace.”

Since the war began, Biden has lost the support of a community that strongly backed the Democratic Party in the last election – the American Muslim community. Their commitment to lobbying against the Democratic Party might lead to a vigorous battle in the upcoming state elections.

In a recent New York Times poll, it was revealed that former President Donald Trump currently maintains a lead over President Biden in five out of six crucial battleground states. Nevada emerged as a lead state for Trump, with a significant 52% of the over 600 registered voters surveyed expressing their preference for him. In contrast, 41% indicated they would cast their vote for Biden. 

Biden is already losing Nevada a year before the elections. It will take a strong and concerted effort involving decisive action and effective campaigning to reclaim Nevada as a Democratic state. 

The Biden-Harris reelection campaign has focused thus far on framing a stark contrast with Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement to re-energize its winning coalition of supporters. The campaign hopes people will reject “MAGA extremists” and be swayed into voting for the democratic candidate, becoming a referendum on stopping Trump.

In a strategy memo obtained by The Associated Press, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote, “The president and vice president have a strong message that resonates with voters, a clear contrast with whoever the MAGA Republican Party nominates. This campaign will win by doing the work and ignoring the outside chatter — just like we did in 2020.”

Despite Biden’s efforts to center his campaign on Donald Trump, he cannot evade the persistent and widespread disapproval he faces. As the international and local community expresses its condemnation of the ongoing war, Biden’s role in supporting and financing it has become increasingly scrutinized. The war must be addressed in his campaign, especially with Israel facing accusations in the International Court of Justice for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention, brought forth by South Africa on Dec. 29. While the legal process may unfold over several years, it stands as a crucial statement that an escalating number of Americans are unlikely to overlook in the upcoming elections.

People are tired of watching their presidential cabinet sit back and enjoy the view of the bloody streets they painted across the world.

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