Surprise Surprise: Biden Wins Michigan Primary While Being the Only Dem on the Ballot

    Matt Smith Photographer /
    Matt Smith Photographer /

    In a not-so-surprising turn of events, President Joe Biden emerged victorious in the Michigan Democratic primary on February 27, 2024. However, this triumph was accompanied by a somewhat feeble attempt at a boycott organized by Gaza ceasefire protesters, urging voters to choose “uncommitted” to express their dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

    Despite the protest, with half of the votes tallied, “uncommitted” managed to garner a notable 13 percent—exceeding the expectations set by the organizers. The Associated Press declared President Biden the winner right after the polls closed at 9 p.m. ET.

    President Biden’s victory aligns with his recent suggestion of a potential humanitarian ceasefire by the weekend’s end. In a rather nonchalant setting at New York’s Van Leeuwen ice cream parlor, the president expressed optimism, saying, “My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a ceasefire.”

    The boycott campaign was spearheaded by “uncommitted” activists, including Layla Elabed, a relative of Rep. Rashida Tlaib from the left-leaning “Squad.” In an instructional video for the “Listen to Michigan” ceasefire protest vote campaign, Elabed urged voters to request a Democratic ballot and then vote “uncommitted.” Tlaib endorsed the campaign, proudly declaring her vote for “uncommitted” on election day.

    Interestingly, Elabed hasn’t ruled out voting for Biden in November, leaving us all on the edge of our seats. The boycott organizers claimed victory, boasting that tens of thousands of Michigan Democrats, many of whom voted for Biden in 2020, are now uncommitted to his re-election due to the war in Gaza.

    President Biden’s primary victories in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina have already secured him 90 delegates, leaving his rivals, Marianne Williamson and Rep. Dean Phillips, with a disappointing zero. With 117 delegates at stake in Michigan, they all gracefully fell into President Biden’s hands.

    On the Republican front, former President Trump, in classic style, triumphed in the February 27 Republican presidential primary in Michigan with an impressive 65.6 percent of the vote. Nikki Haley, a potential contender, lagged at 30.2 percent. However, only 16 out of the state’s 55 delegates were allocated based on this vote. The remaining delegates will be decided in a March 2 convention, creating a political showdown between Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Kristina Karamo.

    Meanwhile, in a Michigan polling place, voter Paul Mink, who supported Biden, sympathized with the “uncommitted” voters but expressed disagreement with their method, emphasizing the high stakes if Biden were to lose. Another voter, Greg Ondrus, opted for the “uncommitted” bubble on the Republican primary Ballot, aiming to send a message to the state Republican Party about fiscal responsibility.

    Michigan’s open primaries allowed voters like Ondrus to participate across party lines, reflecting diverse sentiments within the electorate. While President Biden may have secured this victory, the uncommitted protest is a reminder that not all Democrats are singing in unison.