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Any issue, including Israel-Gaza, could impact 2024 election

May 13

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According to a recent Generation Lab poll aimed at understanding the issues college students are most focused on, health care reform, education funding, economic fairness, racial justice, civil rights, climate change and gun control are at the top of their lists. The conflict in the Middle East ranks last among their top concerns, trailing behind immigration policies as well as national security and terrorism.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman isn’t at all surprised that college students seem more focused on domestic matters related to the economy than foreign policy. Pakman analyzes what impact this finding may have on this year’s presidential election.

Now let’s get to the rubber meeting the road. Is it still possible and plausible that it will make a difference? Well, when the election is expected to be as close as this one is expected to be, even though Biden will probably win the popular vote by millions, the Electoral College could come down to two, three, four, five states, with one to 500,000 votes making the difference in those two to five states. Anything can make a difference.

Did Hillary Clinton lose in 2016 because of Russian interference, or because of James Comey’s last minute press conference about Hillary’s emails, or because of Facebook campaigns? The answer is, when it is that close, when you have just a few states hanging in the balance on a few hundred thousand votes, any one of these issues can be a difference-maker.

So could the election come down to Michigan, and could Biden lose Michigan because in Michigan voters are particularly concerned with Israel-Gaza, even [though] in most of the country, they are not? Sure, that could absolutely happen.

And so when I see these numbers, I don’t see them as “forget about Israel, Gaza, it doesn’t make a difference.” It’s reinforcement that domestic issues for most voters loom much larger than international and foreign policy issues. But it is also a reminder that the president should have some kind of coherent policy when it comes to all of these issues because they are the most important issue for some voters.

A new poll finds that most college students are mostly concerned with health care reform, the funding of an access to education, economic fairness and opportunity, racial justice and civil rights, climate change and gun control. And this is particularly relevant as we approach the November election because of the belief by some that the situation with Israel and Gaza, and the perception of Joe Biden’s handling of that conflict may influence the results in November, in particular by hurting President Joe Biden. So let’s discuss this in a little bit more detail. There is a very, very interesting new poll, which is from generation lab, and it’s the results of which have been published by Axios. And they went to college students at the beginning of May, and ask them Please rank these issues, how are these at which of these issues is important or very important, and at the top is health care reform, educational funding and access economic fairness and opportunity, racial justice and civil rights, climate change, gun control and gun safety, immigration policy, national security and terrorism. And then after that, the conflict in the Middle East. Now there are still aspects of this that are important, and that shouldn’t be ignored. But if we zoom out, I do think it’s important to add the general general perspective, that big picture, the way people vote overwhelmingly, is influenced by domestic issues and domestic issues that tie to economics. So sometimes it’s generically what is the state of the economy? But in many ways, the three top issues healthcare reform, which relates to Can I afford health care? Do I need to have a job in order to have health insurance? What is treatment going to cost? It’s an economic economic issue indirectly, the funding of education and access to education is absolutely an economic issue. How much am I going to pay for education? How much student loan debt am I going to be saddled with? How quickly can I get out of this debt? What jobs can I get? And what would their salaries be in comparison to what it’s going to cost me to get this degree, those three issues indirectly, and I would argue even sort of directly, are economically related issue. So this actually shouldn’t be surprising. In very rare cases, you will have a foreign policy issue that really looms large for voters, the 2004 election was an example, George W. Bush in 2003, during his first term invading Iraq, for completely trumped up reasons that made no sense, but that’s not the subject of this particular discussion. And a significant factor in voting to reelect Bush by a very narrow margin in 2004. A, despite a very low approval rating was the idea of we’re not going to change horses midstream. This is the guy that got us into Iraq. I don’t know about replacing him with John Kerry. And what’s Kerry going to do and is it going to be more chaotic? It was unfortunate. I voted for Kerry, I thought we needed to get rid of bush right away. But the point is, it was a rare exception, when a foreign policy issue sort of loomed larger. 

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