WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s support among Arab Americans, who are crucial voters in battleground states, has fallen from a comfortable majority in 2020 to just 17 percent, a new poll shows, amid growing anger at the Democratic president. support for Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
Arab American support for Biden fell from 59 percent in 2020 even before the outbreak of violence in the Middle East to 35 percent, the poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute showed. but it has since been halved.
The poll, released Tuesday, marks the first time since its inception in 1997 that a majority of Arab Americans do not identify as Democrats: 32 percent now identify as Republicans and 31 percent as independents. Forty percent of respondents said they would vote for former President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee in 2024, up 5 percentage points from 2020.
The poll is the latest evidence that Biden’s campaign for a second term in office is losing fast Muslims and Arab Americans are supportive for his strong support for Israel. These voters have traditionally voted for Democratic candidates and are prominent in hotly contested states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which could decide the 2024 presidential election.
A quarter of Arab Americans said they were not sure who they would support in 2024; 13.7% said they would support Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and 3.8% will support Cornel West.
Only 20 percent of Arab Americans would rate Biden’s job performance as “good,” the poll showed, with 66 percent reporting a negative view of the president overall.
Sixty-eight percent of Arab Americans believed the U.S. should not send weapons and military equipment to Israel and believed the U.S. should use its influence with Israel to call for a cease-fire, he said.
Majorities are concerned about rising anti-Semitism (67%) and anti-Arab bigotry (78%), and 59% say they have experienced discrimination, up 6% since the last poll in April.
The survey showed that 45% of Arab Americans were concerned about their personal safety due to the recent violence in Israel and Palestine.
CONTEXTMany Arab and Muslim Americans say they feel betrayed for Biden’s financial, political and military support for Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip after an October 7 attack by Hamas militants that Israeli officials said killed 1,400 people and took 239 hostages.
Gaza medical authorities said Tuesday 8,525 people, including 3,542 childrenhe had been killed in Israel’s air and ground attack three weeks ago.
The survey was conducted by John Zogby Strategies of 500 Arab Americans and some responded only online. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Nick Zieminski
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