Democrats Panic at Prospect of Losing Voters Due to Anti-War Protests

Democrats are increasingly concerned about the Gaza conflict and the resulting clashes on US university campuses. One unnamed Democrat said the campus protests will likely significantly impact November’s elections, and the Democrats may fare much worse than their Republican opponents. The lawmaker said the college demonstrations are “bringing out the conservative side” of American voters.

Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, who chairs the New Democrat Coalition, said her fellow Democrats are holding back and avoiding taking a definite stand on an issue that she described as “complicated.” Similarly, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio refused to discuss it when questioned outside Congress. He simply commented that people have a right to protest, but his campaign team later released a statement reassuring reporters that Senator Brown believes there is “no place for antisemitism” in the United States.

Other Congressional Democrats say they are worried about what will happen when the party holds its national convention in Chicago this August. Several Democrats, speaking only on condition of anonymity, expressed concerns that demonstrations will overshadow the event and may even descend into violence. “Are you going to the convention? Wear your body armor,” one lawmaker said.

Some commentators have suggested that the Democrats are in a difficult position because many of the pro-Palestinian protestors are Democrat voters, and so the party’s candidates are forced to walk a fine line.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently faced questions about why the President has remained relatively quiet as raucous demonstrations erupted at colleges from New York to California. She replied that he was “monitoring the situation closely” and receives “regular updates.”

Between April 22 and May 2, the President did not comment on the escalating tensions, even as police used rubber bullets to bring chaos at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) under control. On April 22, the President told reporters he condemns antisemitism and condemns “those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”