Nearly 20% of Minnesota Democrats use uncommitted vote to protest Biden’s Gaza policy

A sizable 19 percent of Minnesota’s Democratic voters, 45,752 people, went to the polls Tuesday to vote “uncommitted” and express dissatisfaction with President Biden’s performance.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, N.C., Tuesday, March 28, 2023, en route to Washington. (Shutterstock)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — “Uncommitted” did not win the Democratic presidential primary election in Minnesota, but the protest vote against President Joe Biden was noticed and highlighted division within the party.

A sizable 19 percent of Minnesota’s Democratic voters, 45,752 people, went to the polls Tuesday to vote “uncommitted” and express dissatisfaction with President Biden’s performance. President Biden managed to win 170,726 votes, earning 70 percent of Democrat votes.

Minnesota is a firmly blue state that has been electing exclusively Democrat candidates in presidential races since 1972.

Yet, far more people voted on the Republican ticket, giving former President Donald Trump 231,489 votes, or a 69 percent slice of the Republican vote. Republican challenger Nikki Haley, with 96,621 votes, had 28 percent.

In Hennepin County, “uncommitted” received 25.5 percent of the votes, totaling 21,721 votes, compared to President Biden’s 54,021 votes or 63.5 percent. Dean Phillips received nearly 9 percent, amounting to 7,589 votes.

Many of the “uncommitted” Democratic voters, who hold pro-Palestinian views, are angry with the president’s handling of the Gaza-Israel war and have called for a ceasefire. Minnesota, which has a large Muslim population, witnessed Gaza activists, including some state representatives, rallying voters to choose “uncommitted.” The strategy followed success in Michigan, where “uncommitted” received more than 100,000 votes.

McKenna Schmidt, 29, and Alex Karye, 28, both of Richfield, voted “uncommitted.”
Mr. Karye said he wanted to protest against President Biden’s continued support for Israel in the conflict. “I care about the people of Palestine. It has been their home for generations and they are being unrightly pushed out by Israeli settlers.”

But some Democrats are worried the “uncommitted” effort will backfire.

“I’m very worried because, I don’t know if those people understand what uncommitted means,” a woman from Shoreview who refused to give her name told The Epoch Times.

“You’re basically saying, ‘I’m voting for Trump,’ because by not voting, you’re giving him votes. You’re giving him a door in, and we’ve already had him once. I don’t want a dictator again.”

Other Democrat voters told The Epoch Times they had similar concerns and said it is important to support President Biden now to ensure his victory.

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman who challenged President Biden in an attempt to beat former President Trump, had a poor primary showing, with 7.8 percent, or 18,972 votes. Mr. Phillips indicated on social media that he will be making decisions about his place in the race in the coming days.

The Legalize Marijuana Now party met the criteria to be considered a major party and be included in the primary. Statewide, just 2,740 cast votes for one of its five contenders. Krystal Gabel won that race with 774 votes.

President Biden gained 28 delegates from Minnesota, former President Trump earned 25 and Ms. Haley got 10 delegates.

Democrat Don Samuels, who is running a primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, spent part of the day door-knocking for President Biden.

He said the president is trying to be a friend to all parties in the war.

“I understand the frustration. I think President Biden has gotten the message. He is working very hard. He is the best hope for peace,” Mr. Samuels told The Epoch Times.


Beth Brelje | The Epoch Times