Created Equal: Assessing the impact of the ‘uncommitted’ vote in Michigan

What are the goals of “uncommitted” voters in Michigan now, and how will President Joe Biden respond? Three guests join the show to discuss.

2024 Democratic presidential primary ballot.

Over 100,000 "uncommitted" votes were cast in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary in Michigan.

In the wake of the presidential primary in Michigan, the “uncommitted” campaign that delivered over 100,000 votes has exceeded its stated goal tenfold. But what are the goals of “uncommitted” voters in Michigan now, and how will President Joe Biden respond?  

Abbas Alawieh is a spokesperson for the Listen to Michigan campaign to vote “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Democratic primary. The grassroots movement encouraged voters against Israel’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza to cast an “uncommitted” vote as a way of sending a message to the president that they don’t support the war.

“What’s interesting about our campaign is that this campaign comes out of the historic levels of anti war organizing that we’ve been seeing since October that — yes, is led by Palestinians and Arab Americans, but also very importantly, by Jewish Americans and Black Americans and young voters and voters of conscience who are coming together and saying that there’s got to be a different way than using our tax dollars to kill over 13,000 children, over 30,000 innocents,”Alawieh said.

Alawieh joined Created Equal host Stephen Henderson on the show Thursday, along with U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell and Abed Hammoud, founder of the Arab American Political Action Committee, to discuss the motivation behind Michigan’s “uncommitted” primary vote and what it might mean for Biden in November.

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan’s 6th congressional district. She believes that demanding a ceasefire may not be enough for the president to earn the votes of “uncommitted” Democrats.

“I think the president has got to push for a ceasefire and a two-state solution,” Dingell said.

Abbas Alawieh is a spokesperson for the Listen to Michigan campaign. He says the campaign to vote “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Democratic primary has two specific goals.

“If President Biden wants to count on our support, we have two major priorities. One, you got to come out publicly and call for a permanent, lasting ceasefire. And two, you got to stop funding the killing,” Alawieh said.

Abed Hammoud is the founder of Arab American Political Action Committee, a group that works to highlight and address critical issues affecting the Arab American community. Hammoud says while some Michiganders voted “uncommitted” in the primary merely to send a message to Biden, others impassioned by the growing death toll in Gaza have no intention of returning to the Democratic Party.

“There are a lot of Democrats in the community who voted ‘uncommitted’ because they want to stay within the fold of the Democratic Party,” Hammoud said. “But the people on the ground, they voted ‘uncommitted’ this time because they were told the only way you vote against Biden is to vote ‘uncommitted.’ These people are gonna vote against Biden in November, no matter what happens.”

Listen to Created Equal with host Stephen Henderson weekdays from 9-10 a.m. ET on 101.9 WDET and streaming on-demand.

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