By The Epoch Times Staff
The unexpected attack on Israel has sharply divided liberals in the United States. The ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict is causing a raw emotional split among progressive groups, spanning from college campuses and Hollywood to liberal activist organizations and labor unions.
This growing rift over Israel within the Democratic voter base, particularly among progressives and Arab Americans, is also taking a toll on President Joe Biden’s approval ratings.
President Biden’s job approval rating among Democrats has dropped by 11 percentage points in the past month to 75 percent, marking the lowest point of his presidency within his own party, according to a recent Gallup poll.
This decline has also lowered the president’s overall approval rating by four points to 37 percent, according to the poll. Meanwhile, his approval among independent voters has fallen by four points to 35 percent.
Gallup, which conducted the poll from October 2–23, analyzed the daily data and concluded that Democrats’ approval of President Biden dropped significantly in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that claimed the lives of at least 1,500 civilians, including dozens of Americans.
Hard-left progressive lawmakers critical of Israel are criticizing President Biden for his response to the conflict and his failure to call for a ceasefire. Balancing the differing views within his party presents a challenge for the president as he seeks re-election.
Eleven days after the attack, President Biden visited Israel to reaffirm his commitment to providing “rock-solid and unwavering” support for the Jewish state. He also requested $14 billion from Congress to help Israel’s war against Hamas.
The ongoing conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region, with Israel’s counteroffensive reportedly resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians in Gaza.
Arab Americans Are Frustrated
President Biden’s response to the conflict frustrated Arab Americans, who accused him of siding too closely with Israel and refusing to call for a ceasefire.
A poll recently conducted by the Arab American Institute/John Zogby Strategies found that support for President Biden has declined considerably among Arab American voters in the upcoming election, dropping from 59 percent in 2020 to 17 percent.
In addition, two-thirds of Arab Americans have a negative view of President Biden’s handling of the war. A strong majority of Arab Americans also believe the United States should call for a ceasefire, according to the poll.
Eight in ten Arab Americans also fear that the current conflict will incite anti-Arab bigotry, and two-thirds are concerned that it will incite anti-Semitism.
On Nov. 1, the White House announced the creation of the country’s first national strategy to counter Islamophobia.
“The strategy will be a comprehensive and detailed plan to protect Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim from hate, bigotry, and violence,” Vice President Harris said in a video address, announcing the plan to combat a surge of hate in America.
The announcement came after the recent killing of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy, and the attack on his mother in their home outside Chicago.
According to the poll, half of all Arab Americans felt concerned about facing discrimination at school, work, and in their local community due to the recent crisis in the Middle East.
Impact on 2024
It’s difficult to predict how the decline in Muslim support will affect President Biden in the upcoming 2024 election.
A large number of Muslims in the United States live in Michigan; thus, that’s the only state that matters the most, Brian Seitchik, a GOP strategist, told The Epoch Times.
He did, however, point out that if President Biden departs from his pro-Israel stance, he risks alienating Jewish voters across the country, which would have a greater impact than alienating Muslim voters.
Some argue that the numerous polls showing President Biden trailing President Trump or losing support among Democrats are irrelevant at this point. They believe that many Americans haven’t yet come to the realization that a Biden-Trump rematch is likely in 2024.
Sarah Longwell, host of The Focus Group podcast, found that voters who are uninterested in President Biden and on the fence about voting for him again in 2024 often come around once they are told President Trump will likely be the Republican nominee.
“They’re just coming around to the idea that he is going to be the guy, and they think he’s too old,” she explained during a recent interview on Hacks on Tap. “That said, you ask them, head-to-head with Trump—it’s not close. They’ll vote for Biden.”
The crucial metric is whether President Biden can secure 51 percent of the electorate, as support for his predecessor will likely have a ceiling of around 47 percent, according to Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher.
“The +gap, which is often emphasized, doesn’t really matter,” Mr. Belcher wrote in a recent post on social media platform X.
“What matters is how close Biden is to 51% because Trump is going to get 47%. Anything that undermines Biden garnering a majority is how we get 2016 all over again,” he said, implying that a third-party candidate will cause President Biden to lose critical swing states to the former president.