Trump rising in pivotal state as key Dem constituency sours on Biden

DEARBORN, Mich. — Former President Trump is gaining momentum among voters in the city who are dissatisfied with how the Biden administration has handled the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

“This is not something that we can look at and say, well, what’s the worst of the two or the lesser of two evils? There is no greater evil than a genocide,” Samraa Luqman, who worked as the Abandon Biden co-chair in Michigan, told Fox News Digital. “And Biden has proven that he has the capability to do the greater of the evils.”

The comments come as the Detroit suburb has become the center of a growing movement to resist the re-election of President Biden, with the city’s large Arab American and Muslim population expressing deep dissatisfaction with U.S. foreign policy under the president’s leadership.

That dissatisfaction caused both the “Listen to Michigan” and “Abandon Biden” movements to gain steam in Dearborn ahead of the state’s Democrat primary in February, with both campaigns encouraging voters to show a lack of support for the president at the polls.


One way voters showed their lack of support was by marking “uncommitted” on their ballots instead of voting for Biden, with more than 100,000 such voters making the selection in the Democrat primary. But Luqman noted that another 30,000 crossed over to the Republican primary and cast a vote for “uncommitted” as well, a message that these typically dependable Democrat voters were willing to vote for the GOP to get rid of Biden.

According to Luqman, the Abandon Biden movement is focused on beating Biden in the general election by any means necessary, including voting for Trump. Despite the significant differences she has with the former president, such a vote is one Luqman herself is seriously considering.

Donald Trump speaks to a Michigan crowd

Former President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Waterford, Michigan. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/File)

“I ran as a Democrat for an elected position two years ago. In 2020, I voted by writing in Bernie Sanders’ name to show you how far left of the spectrum I was,” Luqman said. “And for me to sit here today and tell you I’m OK with a Trump presidency; I’m OK with even the thought of going in and voting for Trump in order to oust Biden, which really shows you the level of dismay, disgust and upset that we have towards Biden.”

Luqman is not alone in the growing movement, which also includes area activist Mike Hachem, who has been working to help a movement of Abandon Biden voters toward casting their ballot for Trump.

“Joe Biden has shot the minority vote in the back … especially Arab Americans,” Hanchem told Fox News Digital. “He promised us so many things. … He promised us peace. He promised us a stronger Middle East. He promised better diplomacy.”

Hanchem also said that many within his community share values more aligned with the Republican Party, noting that many Arab Americans are socially conservative, while a large percentage of the community are business owners.

Combined with the conflict in Gaza, Hachem said many within the community are starting to trend toward support of Trump.


Most of the pushback against Biden in Dearborn has centered around the president’s support of Israel during its offensive in Gaza, with many area voters arguing the continued siege constitutes a genocide.

The anger over the war has also led to controversial rhetoric being heard from Dearborn activists, including a rally on the last Friday of Ramadan that featured one activist leading rallygoers in chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

activist Lexis Zeidan, holding "vote uncommitted" sign

Lexis Zeidan, a spokesperson for Listen to Michigan, speaks during a press conference about her organization’s efforts against the presumptive Democrat nominee on Feb. 28, 2024. (Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu via Getty Images)

In the aftermath of the rally, the Biden campaign denounced the rhetoric and told Fox News Digital that it did not want the votes of those doing the chants. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign would not say whether it would welcome support from those who made the chants.

Luqman said that those making the chants did not represent that overall community in Dearborn, but she also said Biden would not be able to earn many votes from local residents even if he did welcome all support.

“He could pull a Jesus and resurrect all the lives that were lost. And then I’d consider voting for him again. But aside from that, there really isn’t much he could do otherwise,” Luqman said of Biden.


That disdain is shared by many Dearborn-area activists and religious leaders, who say the president has permanently lost their support.

Mohammad Ali Elahi, a Dearborn imam, is pictured here

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi says many in his Dearborn Heights community have completely written off voting for President Biden this November. Elahi also told Fox News Digital he was open to possibly casting a ballot for former President Trump. (Michael Lee/Fox News Digital)

“For many people, this is already out the window,” Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi told Fox News Digital of the idea that local voters could go back to supporting Biden. 

Elahi expressed some openness to supporting Trump as well, though he said he would like to see how the situation develops in Gaza between now and November before making a final decision.

Another religious leader in the Dearborn area, Islamic Center of Detroit Executive Director Sufian Nabhan, told Fox News Digital that he felt “betrayed” by Biden and could not support his re-election in November. Instead, he argued that the Democratic Party should put forward a different nominee with different policies toward support for Israel.


While it is possible some in the Dearborn community would switch their support to Trump, it is unlikely such voters would be the majority, Abed Ayoub, the national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told Fox News Digital. As for Biden, it would be hard for the president to regain the community’s support, he added.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud speaking into microphone

Dearborn, Michigan, Mayor Abdullah Hammoud helped push the “uncommitted” vote in Michigan’s Democrat presidential primary in February. (Getty/File)

“I don’t see our community voting, frankly, for Biden,” Ayoub said, arguing that voters will no longer allow Democrats to run on a campaign of not being Trump.

“The threat of a second Trump term is not something that can be used on voters anymore, particularly in our community,” Ayoub said.

Ronald Stockton, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, told Fox News Digital that Biden will have difficulties earning back the votes of members of the Dearborn community, arguing that even agreement on other policy matters will not be able to overcome their dissatisfaction with the president’s handling of Gaza.


“It’s not going to be enough,” Stockton said. “I’m not sure what Biden can do. He’s thinking, ‘I can mobilize people on the basis of every other issue.’ I don’t think that will be enough.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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