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Washington Primary’s “Uncommitted” Vote Surpasses Organizers’ Expectations

"Voters have strongly rejected Biden's funding of Israel's war in Gaza at the polls," said one organizer.

President Joe Biden speaks about the cost of living during an address at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

More than 48,000 voters and counting marked “uncommitted delegates” on their ballots in Washington state’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, far surpassing organizers’ expectations and further showing that President Joe Biden’s unconditional support for Israel’s war on Gaza has angered significant chunks of his base.

Washington is one of several U.S. states that have adopted universal mail-in voting, so final results from Tuesday’s contest aren’t expected until later this week. But with 80% of the vote tallied thus far, organizers of the grassroots uncommitted campaign have more than quadrupled their goal of 12,000 votes — which was twice the number of uncommitted votes in Washington in the deep-blue state’s 2020 Democratic primary.

Organizers said they campaigned for just two weeks ahead of the primary and spent $20,000. They predicted a surge in “uncommitted” votes in the coming days, given that progressive ballots in Washington are “notoriously late.”

“Tonight’s numbers show that President Biden’s current policies towards Gaza and Palestine are not in line with his voting base,” said Rami Al-Kabra, a lead organizer and spokesperson for Uncommitted WA. “Democratic voters want a permanent cease-fire and an end to America’s unconditional funding of Israel’s military.”

While tens of thousands of Democrats voted uncommitted, Biden handily won his party’s primaries in Washington, Georgia, and Mississippi on Tuesday, officially securing enough delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. Former President Donald Trump won the number of delegates needed for the GOP nomination, setting the stage for a 2020 rematch.

Uncommitted organizers have stressed that Biden’s continued backing of Israel’s assault on Gaza risks eroding key elements of his base ahead of the high-stakes November contest against Trump, who has expressed support for the mass killing of Palestinians.

Data for Progress polling released last month shows that 77% of Democratic voters — 67% of voters across the political spectrum — want the Biden administration to call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. Thus far, Biden has only supported a temporary halt to the fighting while sending Israel billions of dollars worth of lethal weaponry.

Since more than 100,000 Michiganders voted uncommitted in their state’s Democratic presidential primary last month — securing 11 delegates to the party’s convention — the effort to send a message to Biden and pressure him to dramatically change course on Gaza has spread to states across the country, from Minnesota to Massachusetts to Hawaii.

“Washington proved that being uncommitted to Biden for as long as the violence in Gaza continues is a popular sentiment among Democrats everywhere, including in one of the bluest states in the nation,” Faheem Khan, lead organizer of Uncommitted WA, said in a statement. “Thousands of volunteers across the country helped us achieve these results, all within just a few days’ time. Mobilizing so many people so quickly would not be possible if support for the Uncommitted movement wasn’t so widely and passionately felt.”

“Voters have strongly rejected Biden’s funding of Israel’s war in Gaza at the polls,” said Khan. “Washington is proof that they will continue to do so until the Biden administration changes course and calls for a permanent cease-fire and stops their unchecked funding of Israel’s genocide with our tax dollars.”

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