Minnesotans explain why they voted uncommitted on Super Tuesday

Lynnell Mickelsen is a die-hard Democrat and is a Biden supporter, and she doesn’t hide it one bit.

But she also went to the polls on Tuesday and did not vote for President Biden in the Minnesota primary. And she isn’t shy about that at all, either.

"I voted uncommitted so I could send a message to President Biden that there are lots of us who don’t agree with his Gaza policy," said Mickelsen.

She is one of 45,913 Minnesotans who chose the "uncommitted" option on Super Tuesday. All of them came in the Democratic primary, not a single one on the Republican side.

But in her case, this was a one-time thing—a vote to send a message to a president who has the nomination locked up anyway. Come November, she’ll be committed once more.

"I think we know that the general election is going to be really close, but for people like me, I’m a die-hard Democrat, and I voted in the primary knowing full well that if President Biden is the nominee, I’ll be voting for him without hesitation in November," she said. 

The push to vote uncommitted began about a week before the primary in Minnesota, a campaign by disgruntled Democrats who are unhappy with President Biden’s policies and actions involving Israel and Gaza.

With a huge backing of Minnesota’s Muslim community, but stretching beyond that, too, the sentiment is that Biden needs to pull back military support for Israel and call for an immediate cease-fire.

"But the real question for the country, the campaign, is what will these voters do in November," said University of Minnesota Political Science professor Kathryn Pearson.

History shows, she says, that upwards of 90% of Democrats and Republicans will vote for their parties nominee, regardless of misgivings they may have.

And many of the "uncommitted" voters only did this in a primary that they knew had little significance, since Biden has the nomination in hand. But how many of them are disgruntled enough that they remain uncommitted?

"I really don’t see any of these uncommitted Democratic voters from yesterday showing up to vote for Trump," says Pearson. "But it is certainly possible that they could vote for a third-party candidate or stay home."

Mickelsen, the uncommitted voter, says she will not stay home.  She will vote for Biden.   

"But we hope we get his attention," she says.  

"There’s 45,000 people who voted uncommitted. That’s a pretty good poll of Democrats who want to see change."