Recent Poll Shows Americans Want Netanyahu to Address Congress on Iranian Threat
The White House, many Congressional Democrats and even some Jewish groups have been pushing against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress. Yet how much does their opposition reflect the views of average Americans? According to recent poll numbers published in Bloomberg, they are not representative at all. More Americans support than oppose the speech, despite the controversy.
The poll, sampling 1,563 respondents, was conducted by Paragon Insights on behalf of The Israel Project, and showed that 63 percent of Americans disapproved of the way the House Speaker John Boehner invited the Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress.
However, most Americans still want the Prime Minister to go through with the address. 43 percent of respondents agreed that, since Iran is getting closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu’s status as one of the most knowledgeable world leaders on the Middle East and Iran made it critical for him to address Congress before the upcoming March 31 deadline for a framework between world powers and Iran.
By contrast, only 25 percent of respondents agreed that the timing of the address – two weeks before Israel’s elections – was inappropriate. When the poll question was phrased differently – whether Netanyahu should be barred from addressing Congress due to his political interests – only 22 percent agreed.
Moreover, more Americans (47 percent to 32 percent) disapproved of the Administration’s reaction to the upcoming speech. The President, Vice President Biden, Secretary Kerry and several Democratic lawmakers have pledged to boycott the speech, but the poll suggests there will be political backlash for the Democratic party from such a move.
More than one third of respondents said they would be less likely to vote to re-elect their congressman if he or she boycotted the speech, while only 27 percent said it would make them more likely to support reelection.
The poll was conducted online from February 12-16 by Paragon’s Nathan Klein, and the results have a 2.5 percent margin of error. Just over half of respondents described themselves as “supporters” or “strong supporters” of Israel.