Younger Democrat voters give Joe Biden the cold shoulder

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By Carina

Recent reports from the Washington Post indicate a shift in sentiment among young Democratic voters at the University of Michigan, especially concerning President Biden’s re-election prospects for 2024.

This change in attitude stems largely from Biden’s stance on Israel’s conflict with Hamas.

University students express frustration with Biden

A significant number of these voters are reconsidering their support for Biden, primarily due to his policies regarding the Israel-Gaza situation. The Washington Post’s interactions with several university students revealed a growing dissatisfaction.

As one voter expressed, her group of friends has started referring to President Biden as “Genocide Joe” in light of his support for Israel.

This dissatisfaction extends across various issues. Bhavani Iyer, a senior at the university and an advocate for abortion access, voices her dilemma: “… she said she doesn’t know if she will support President Biden’s reelection bid next November.

More students are uncertain who to vote for

One of her top priorities is protecting access to abortion, but her disapproval of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Gaza war and his decision not to call for a full cease-fire weighs just as heavily on her mind these days.”

Iyer’s conflict is representative of a broader uncertainty among students, who previously might have voted straight-ticket Democratic but are now questioning that approach.

Decision on who to support is ‘difficult’

Andrea Gonzalez, 19, compares Trump’s “controversial rhetoric” unfavorably but admits that Biden’s reluctance to support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict makes her decision “difficult.” Similarly, Pakistani-American student Humza Irfan notes a decline in his support for Biden due to the war.

The sentiment among young Democratic voters, as highlighted in the article, seems emblematic of a larger generational divide within the party.

The report stresses: “But conversations with more than a dozen students here underscore that Biden’s handling of the war threatens to diminish enthusiasm for him among young voters ahead of the 2024 election, with many students and other young people divided on how they will use their vote and their organizing power.”

Polls reflect dissatisfaction with Biden’s handling of war

Polls reflect this trend. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 48% of Gen Z and millennial respondents believed Israel’s military response was excessive, a view shared by 38% of the general public.

Furthermore, FOX News, Marist College, and Quinnipiac University polls show that most young adults disapprove of Biden’s management of the situation.

Breah Marie Willy and Joesph Fisher, both students, voiced their changed perspectives. Willy, initially a Biden supporter, is now disillusioned due to his positions on climate initiatives and the Israel-Hamas ceasefire.

Fisher, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, expresses his inability to envisage voting for Biden given his policies.

General campus sentiment on Biden

Zaynab Elkolaly, 22, sums up the campus mood towards Biden: “The general sentiment [on campus] towards Joe Biden is that he absolutely sucks. But we have to put up with him because his alternative is even worse.

Jack Petocz, a Gen-Z for Change mobilization coordinator, highlights the unprecedented frustration and energy among the youth against Biden’s policies.

Trump ‘rhetoric’ could sway voters to Biden

Despite this, some still believe young voters will ultimately support Biden. Nate Aurbach, a member of the University of Michigan College Democrats, anticipates that the threat posed by Trump’s rhetoric might eventually sway young voters towards Biden despite their current reservations.

The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee have not yet responded to requests for comment on this issue.

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