Organizers behind the Listen to Wisconsin campaign

Organizers behind the Listen to Wisconsin campaign are seen on April 2, 2024.

(Photo: @listentowi/X)

Surpassing Goal, 47,000+ Wisconsin Democrats Vote 'Uninstructed' in Primary

"Rather than dismissing the wave of votes being made to stand in support of Palestine, listen to the demands the movement is making and shift policies," said one campaigner. "Stop sending weapons to Israel."

Campaigners with Listen to Wisconsin had hoped they could convince 20,000 Democratic primary voters on Tuesday to select "uninstructed delegate" on their ballots to send the message to President Joe Biden that he can't yet count on their votes in the November general election due to his support for Israel's bombardment of Gaza.

After organizing for less than a month, the campaign far surpassed its goal, with more than 47,800 people voting for the uninstructed option.

The results show "how serious of a problem Biden will have in the general election" if he does not change his policy regarding Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories," said Abed Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

About 8.4% of voters in the primary voted for "uninstructed delegate" over the president, in a state where Biden beat former President Donald Trump by less than 1%—just 20,682 votes—in 2020

The primary came just over a month after the Listen to Michigan campaign started the nationwide push for Democratic primary voters to vote "uncommitted" in order to pressure Biden to change his policy in Israel, whose U.S.-backed military has killed at least 32,975 Palestinian people in Gaza.

Wisconsin voters went to the polls a day after a Israeli shelling killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, including one U.S.-Canadian citizen. An Al Jazeera investigation found the attack was intentional.

Nearly 20% of Minnesota Democratic primary voters last month voted "uncommitted," as well as 13% of Michigan voters. On Tuesday, 15% and 12% of voters in Rhode Island and Connecticut, respectively, marked "uncommitted" on their ballots.

Iman Abid, director of advocacy and organizing at the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said the results, particularly in crucial swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, must not be ignored by the Biden administration.

"Rather than dismissing the wave of votes being made to stand in support of Palestine, listen to the demands the movement is making and shift policies," said Abid. "Stop sending weapons to Israel."

A poll released Monday by Poll Progressive Strategies showed that voters under the age of 29 in Wisconsin are among those pushing most strongly for Biden to demand a permanent cease-fire, to halt military aid to Israel, and to ensure humanitarian aid reaches Gazans. One hundred percent of voters in the age bracket said they strongly or somewhat approved of an immediate and permanent cease-fire.

"This president must decide if loyalty to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is worth delivering Trump the election in November," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner. "He must decide."

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