Israel-Gaza conflict: Biden’s re-election odds in historical context

Israel-Gaza conflict: Biden's re-election odds in historical context

US President Joe Biden, like many other presidents before him, has been forced to answer some of these issues, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Certain things, like the withdrawal from Afghanistan, have their roots in previous administrations. Most, like Iran’s involvement and Israel’s reprisal on Gaza, combine elements of both.

Understanding the Israel-Gaza conflict

Given the severity of these interconnected problems and the fact that they are occurring in the midst of a heated political campaign, it is not unexpected that Biden’s foreign policy is being closely examined. Many commentators believe that the US departure from Afghanistan was “botched,” and that this is what initially caused Biden’s problems with foreign policy. Even with the completely preventable catastrophe that has occurred there, Afghanistan by itself is unlikely to have had an electoral influence other than making some political commentators shake their heads. With the numerous international challenges the Biden administration is now dealing with, particularly its handling of Gaza, that may not always be the case. Voter intention forecasting is notoriously challenging, particularly thus far ahead of election day. However, examining the historical effects of global issues on voter intention throughout elections can provide light on Americans’ perceptions of their place in the world and might impact their selection of this year’s leader.

Joe Biden’s approach to the Israel-Gaza conflict

Chicago, Illinois will host the Democratic National Convention once more. The choice to hold the conference in Chicago once more appears foreboding given the striking similarities between this year and 1968. In 1968, a number of significant and interconnected problems in American democracy centered around foreign policy. The Democratic Party arrived in Chicago in a state of crisis, reeling from the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and the front-runner for the nomination, Robert F. Kennedy, as well as the violent reaction to the civil rights movement and the growing intensity of the Vietnam War. Horrified by American participation in Vietnam, anti-war demonstrators gathered in Chicago with the intention of influencing the nomination process’s result. After 650 protestors were detained by police, the conference broke out in chaos and violence.

Assessing historical precedents

Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, ultimately lost the election to Richard Nixon. There are significant domestic similarities even if the history and context of the US presence in the Middle East differ greatly from those of Vietnam. Similar to Vietnam, the Biden administration’s approach to Gaza has caused dissension among the Democratic Party today. More than 100,000 Democrats cast “uncommitted” ballots in the Michigan state primary in February as part of a coordinated effort to tell Joe Biden that more needed to be done to halt the killing of Palestinians in Gaza. Biden won Michigan by slightly over 150,000 votes in the 2020 election. It’s expected that demonstrators will continue to peacefully disrupt Democratic campaign events leading up to the convention in August. Democracies need dissent to be strong, but that is not how the media will portray demonstrations. Division within the party is probably going to be portrayed poorly. The larger impressions of Biden’s leadership durability and power will be shaped by this coverage.

Impact on public opinion

Iran has also contributed significantly to previous US elections. In light of the previous week’s events, it very well may do so again. According to conventional belief, incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in modern American history as a result of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the poorly managed hostage situation that followed. During the Iranian Revolution, a year before the 1980 election, militant students took over the US embassy in Tehran and kidnapped over fifty Americans. For more than a year, the problem persisted, with American authorities appearing powerless to do anything about it. It was a disastrous military rescue attempt gone wrong. Carter’s authority was irreversibly undermined by the revolution itself, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, and other factors.


In conclusion, The fact that the Carter administration engaged in lengthy, acrimonious discussions with Iran following the abortive rescue effort and continued to do so until the final day of his presidency is sometimes overlooked in conventional comments regarding Carter’s seeming weakness. The agreement to free the hostages was eventually reached as a consequence of those discussions. Regarding the Reagan campaign’s contribution to the crisis’s settlement, there are still many unanswered questions. Revisions to Carter’s legacy, in particular those regarding his perceived weakness, are now substantial. However, as things transpired, Carter lost the election due to views of his incompetence, his pivotal part in the emergence of an American “malaise,” and Reagan’s capacity to foster an opposing narrative of vigor and power.


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