Dem 51
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GOP 49
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The War in Israel, Part VIII: Biden Is Juggling Furiously

There's little question that Joe Biden is strong for Israel. We think he really believes in that position, though even if he doesn't, it's impractical to be running for president and not be pro-Israel.

One of the prices of this, as we've noted already a couple of times, is that it's hurting Biden's standing with Arab-American voters. A new poll from the Arab American Institute puts a number on how much it's hurting. According to their figures, only 17% of Arab-American voters are prepared, at this moment, to vote for Biden in 2024. Since he took 59% of the Arab-American vote in 2020, that's a staggering 42-point drop.

Those numbers come with some caveats, of course. To start, just as many non-Arab-Americans are loath to express support for Biden in polls right now, surely many Arab-Americans feel that way, too. That is to say, even if Hamas hadn't attacked Israel, the president would not be at 59% with Arab voters right now. Further, it's still early in the war, and there's still plenty of time for successes to be had, and plenty of time for feelings, which are running hot right now, to cool a bit.

That said, Biden and his team are veterans at this, and they've clearly got a problem on their hands. So, there's been some movement from the White House to try to rebalance a bit. Yesterday, Jack Lew was confirmed as ambassador to Israel; he's specifically been charged with working to protect civilians in Gaza. Similarly, the administration is putting pressure on the Israeli government not to take needlessly harsh anti-Palestinian measures, like cutting off the tax revenue that the Israelis collect for the Palestinian Authority.

In short, the President is doing what he can to keep all camps as happy as is possible. Whether he is successful is the $64,000 question.

However, note that Arab Americans are less than 1% of the population and Jews are 2-3%, depending on the definition of "Jewish." What Biden may have lost with one group he may have gained with the other. Also, the only swing state with a substantial Arab American population is Michigan, where the Democratic Senate candidate, Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), is Jewish. So that is the state to watch on this score (Z).

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