Biden Campaign Unconcerned About Political Impact of University Protests

Student protests over the Israel-Gaza war pose a political challenge for Biden, as he navigates tensions within his coalition and the potential impact on younger voters.

Muthana Al-Najjar
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Biden Campaign Unconcerned About Political Impact of University Protests

Biden Campaign Unconcerned About Political Impact of University Protests

As student protests over the ongoing Israel-Gaza war continue to capture global attention, the Biden campaign has expressed little concern about their potential political impact. The protests, which have been most prominent at elite universities like Columbia, have resurfaced questions about President Biden's support among young voters and his handling of the Middle East conflict, now in its seventh month.

The White House is currently pressing forward with negotiations over a ceasefire and the release of hostages held by Hamas. However, the protests have the potential to build momentum and trigger scenes of violence at the Democratic National Convention in August. Biden has had to work to minimize disruptions from antiwar protesters, and he could face more confrontations with students this spring.

The president has taken a middle ground approach, condemning the antisemitic nature of some protests while also acknowledging the concerns of the Palestinians. His campaign is focused on ensuring Jewish students feel safe on campus, while also highlighting anti-Arab discrimination and reaffirming people's right to protest and address Palestinian suffering.

Why this matters: The university protests reflect a growing challenge for Biden as he seeks to hold together his disparate coalition of voters, including young progressives, communities of color, and moderate Republicans. The political potency of the Israel-Gaza conflict could be harmful to Biden's electoral prospects, particularly among younger voters already grappling with issues like inflation.

Despite the protests capturing media attention, Biden's advisers believe he is making decisions based on national security rather than purely politics and polling. Former President Donald Trump has criticized Biden's handling of the situation, using the protests to complain about the police presence at his own trial. As one Democratic consultant, Dan Sena, noted, "It's the type of chaos that in this moment could be really bad for Biden, especially with younger voters."

Key Takeaways

  • Student protests over Israel-Gaza war continue globally.
  • Biden campaign unconcerned about political impact of protests.
  • Protests raise questions about Biden's support among young voters.
  • Biden takes middle ground, condemns antisemitism but acknowledges Palestinian concerns.
  • Protests pose challenge for Biden in holding diverse voter coalition.