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July 28, 2015 2:22 pm

EXCLUSIVE: New Survey of Jewish Americans Shows Opposition to Iran Deal Increases With More Knowledge of Arguments

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Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters after the July 14 announcement of the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna. Photo: State Department.

Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters after the July 14 announcement of the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna. Photo: State Department.

The more Jewish Americans know about the Iran nuclear deal the less they like it, a new poll first seen exclusively by The Algemeiner showed.

The survey of 1,034 people was conducted by Olive Tree Strategies on behalf of pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project. It claims a margin of error of 3 percent, and is the most extensive yet to be conducted on the issue. It comes as a wide array of U.S. Jewish groups have announced opposition to the deal, which is believed to endanger Israel and U.S. security.

In the survey, which was divided into three parts, respondents were first quizzed about their position on the deal based on their current knowledge without being provided any further information — 47 percent said they oppose it and 44 percent were in favor.

Asked if Congress should “approve the deal and lift sanctions on Iran,” 40 percent said yes while 45 percent said no.

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The pollster then presented a number of talking points both for and against the deal, asking respondents if they agreed or disagreed with the various arguments. The arguments in favor of the deal were taken from the White House website and those against were compiled by The Israel Project.

In this category, an aggregate of 51 percent said Congress should not approve the deal while 35 percent were still in favor of approval.

In the third segment, a series of arguments against the deal are made resulting in a final aggregate of 58 percent wanting Congress to override the deal and 30 percent seeking its approval.

Speaking to The Algemeiner about the poll, Omri Ceren, managing director of press and strategy at The Israel Project, said, “The more that Jewish Americans learn about the details of the Iran deal, the more they believe that Congress should reject it.”

According to Ceren, the “poll shows that when you educate Jewish Americans about the downsides of the deal, which ultimately involve funding and arming the Iranian regime, they end up deciding that the costs are not worth the very unlikely benefits.”

In a summary memo on the poll, Nathan Klein, lead pollster for Olive Tree Strategies, concluded that as public discussion about the deal gains pace, opposition to approving it in Congress will grow.

“As the conversation about Congress’ role with regard to the deal continues to take center stage, there is little question that opposition to the agreement will rise,” Klein said. “Any conversation on the issue, even one including the pro-deal aspect of the conversation, drives opposition higher with this community.”

The survey also found that Jewish Americans were generally more supportive of President Obama — 57 percent to 41 percent — but were more critical of his handling of foreign policy affairs.

The results differ somewhat from a similar survey released by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal last week, which found that 49 percent supported the deal while 31 percent opposed it. When asked if Congress should approve the nuclear agreement, 53 percent said yes, while just 35 percent said no. The Jewish Journal survey was conducted from a sampling of 501 Jewish adults and claims a margin of error of 6 percent.

Recently released polling on the general U.S. population also showed varied results.

On Tuesday, a CNN/ORC poll found that 52 percent said Congress should reject the deal while 44 percent said it should be approved.

A Washington Post/ABC poll published last week, which included arguments in favor of the deal within the query posed to respondents, found that 56 percent of Americans supported the deal while 37 percent opposed it.

Another poll published last week by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that Americans disapprove of the deal 48 percent to 38 percent. Commenting at the time on the disparity between the studies, the Los Angeles Times said, “Question wording seems likely to be a big part of the answer.”


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